The rosé was everywhere at Rose Café in Venice but Chrissy Teigen was sipping from a can of Red Bull. It was a little before noon. Attendees, most of whom wore sundresses and beachy waves, stood idly at the inaugural Chase Sapphire Sundays: Brunch with Chrissy Teigen event, drinking their frosé cocktails garnished with rose petals. They were trying to get a glimpse of their host, who, for the time being, was sitting behind a mesh screen, cross-legged on her chair.
She was feeling tired, she said, maybe a little jet-lagged. Teigen, John Legend, and their 16-month-old daughter Luna have been vacationing a bit more than usual this summer. They had recently come back from Italy and would soon be leaving for another vacation. They are focusing on travel because “a lot of stuff’s about to come,” Teigen said. “We’re going to try to have a child. This is for us to try to get in the zone of ‘let’s travel, let’s be away together, let’s see our closest friends,’ and then we’re going to have to do something super hard, which is the IVF process, all over again.”
Before Italy, it was Bali, where they attended a wellness retreat. Teigen wanted to do a reset on her health. “I was, point blank, just drinking too much,” she said, looking down at the table between us. She picked up my phone and turned it around in her hands. “I got used to being in hair and makeup and having a glass of wine. Then that glass of wine would carry over into me having one before the awards show. And then a bunch at the awards show. And then I felt bad for making kind of an ass of myself to people that I really respected. And that feeling, there’s just nothing like that. You feel horrible. It’s not a good look for me, for John, for anybody.”
Included in the $100 price of entry for the brunch were unlimited specialty cocktails and wine, a legion of servers always replenishing the supply. A special day in the life of a Sapphire card-carrying commoner. Not so much for a celebrity — especially not one who’s been a spokesperson for Captain Morgan and Smirnoff. “Imagine everything we have,” Teigen said. “Everything is there, always. I don’t know how to go to an awards show and not drink.” She has a history of alcohol abuse in her family, she said, and she’s the type of person who “can’t just have one drink.” She is also taking a number of medications for postpartum depression and anxiety, which “alcohol is like the least thing that helps.” She started to worry about where this was headed.
“Nobody really brought it up to me,” Teigen said. “They just assumed that it was OK because I always felt OK the next morning. I knew in my heart it wasn’t right. It makes you very short with people. People think it’s cutesy and fun to go on these boozy brunches, but there’s more to it. I’ve never once been like, ‘I’m sure glad I had that boozy brunch!'” Teigen made a shift in Bali. While there, she abstained from alcohol entirely and didn’t find herself missing it. She ate better. She worked out. It was “really, really wonderful,” she said. “I would wake up feeling amazing. My skin felt amazing. I was just so happy.” What will be tricky is figuring out what to do now that she’s back in Los Angeles, where access to alcohol is easy and free. One possibility is that she might end up going completely dry, which she also announced she’d do in April 2013. “I used to think it was kind of nutty to have to go totally sober,” she said, “but now I get it. I don’t want to be that person. … I have to fix myself.”
Released from her press commitments, it was time for Teigen to give her public what they came for. She walked through a mass of attendees toward a succulent wall and answered questions about travel and cooking. A woman with pink hair and a pink vest held a glass of rosé in her hand, captivated. Somewhere in the back, a man shouted, “I love you, Chrissy!” Teigen held a coupe of … something indeterminate and made a toast. “Thank you so much, this has been absolutely wonderful,” she said, and went around clinking.