Roy Hobbs, a WAGA-TV anchor from 1997 to 2003, told Journal-isms that he was suicidal, leading to drug abuse and an arrest on crack cocaine possession in April.
His job as a weekend anchor at a Birmingham ABC affiliate officially ended July 15, he told the website. Hobbs was unusually frank in the interview after spending three months in a hospital and receiving antidepressants.
"I was suffering from major depression for 25 years," he said, aided by a bad marriage and personal insecurities. "I wasn't getting any help. I was self-medicating," Hobbs said. He denied a police-report statement that, "When asked what he was doing in the area, Hobbs said 'he was looking for a girl.'" He already had a girlfriend, he said.
A judge was lenient toward him, saying the charges will be dropped in a year if he stays clean. He is now in counseling and Narcotics Anonymous.
Doug Richards, a former WAGA-TV reporter when Hobbs was there and now a full-time reporter at WXIA-TV (and blogger for Live Apartment Fire), said he's known many drug abusers and clinically depressed people who do a good job covering up their problems.
"People liked working with him at WAGA," he said. "He seemed to do his job pretty well."