Supermodel, Actress, Speaker
An internationally recognized supermodel and actress for the past 20 years, today Amber Smith is perhaps even more recognizable as one of the top reality TV stars in America. Her participation in the VH-1 TV series “Celebrity Rehab,” “Sober House,” and “Sex Rehab w/ Dr. Drew” has propelled her to a new level of fame….
Brave enough to admit, confront, and overcome a 16-year addiction to painkillers on national television, Amber says,
“It’s amazing how many people come up to me, telling me how inspirational I’ve been to their fights with their addictions. Many times they will reveal their addictions to me when they haven’t even told their spouse or family members. I’m touched they see me as a safe person to talk too!”
After her battle with prescription painkillers, Amber went on her third VH-1 reality program, “Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew” to confront love addiction (obsessional “love” that stems from unresolved trauma from early abandonment). Substance abuse will temporarily “medicate” underlying issues such as co-dependency and love addiction-, which was the case for Amber.
After her emotional yet transformational appearances, Amber finally achieved her “Big O”—“Oprah” that is! In the Fall of 2009, Amber and Dr. Drew appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” to discuss the symptoms and ramifications of love addiction.
During 2010, Amber also appeared on many major, national television programs, including ABC News’ “Nightline”—alongside the legendary Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Drew, discussing the problems of prescription pill addiction (prompted by the death of superstar Michael Jackson), as well as “Tyra”, “Inside Edition” and “Entertainment Tonight.”
Voted “One of the Sexiest Women in the World” by MAXIM Magazine, Amber Smith has graced the covers of over 300 magazines worldwide, including VOGUE, ELLE, MARIE CLAIRE and PLAYBOY, with her initial fame concurrent with her appearances in two Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues.
As a high fashion model, Amber has walked the runway for CHANEL, and has represented L’OREAL Cosmetics and WONDERBRA in their national advertising campaigns. In 2006, Amber was chosen by ANHEUSER-BUSCH to be the celebrity spokesperson for their new product, “Michelob Ultra Amber” beer.
Amber is one of those rare models who has also successfully transitioned to work as an actress, appearing in numerous high profile motion pictures. These include: “L.A. Confidential,” “American Beauty” and Barbra Streisand’s “The Mirror Has Two Faces,” along with a highly memorable appearance in Howard Stern’s “Private Parts.” Her television work includes the starring role in the highly rated Cinemax series “Sin City Diaries,” along with featured roles in “Friends,” “Just Shoot Me,” “Red Shoe Diaries” and “Silk Stalkings.”
Amber began her modeling career at the age of 15, and as a teen, traveled to Paris, where she worked throughout Europe for several years. Her breakthrough came when her naturally blonde hair was dyed red, giving her a strong resemblance to 1940s glamour queen Rita Hayworth.
Amber next appeared in back-to-back swimsuit issues of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, and became ESQUIRE Magazine’s first “Vargas Girl” of the 1990s. She was the first model for the WONDERBRA campaign, and later, in 2002, became the lingerie model for VENUS VICTORIA, the European sister company to VICTORIA’S SECRET. She also appeared in advertising for CAMEL cigarettes, KAHLUA, VOLKSWAGON and PANAMA JACK.
However, nothing shocked Amber’s fans more than her appearance in 2008 on VH-1’s hit television series “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” (Season Two,) where both Amber and her mother went public with their 16-year addiction to opiate painkillers. On the show, Amber underwent a painful withdrawal, side by side with fellow celebrity-addicts Gary Busey, Jeff Conaway, Tawny Kitaen, Rod Stewart’s son Sean, and Rodney King.
Regarding Amber’s addiction and recovery, Dr. Drew Pinsky said, “A beautiful and relatable woman, Amber Smith has shown tremendous courage and strength in sharing her personal struggle with the world, so that others may benefit.”
Though, Amber now has several years of recovery under her belt, she admits that her early recovery was not picture perfect. She says “After the reality shows were done and the hoopla subsided, I found myself detoxed and aware of my issues but I had no confidence and a social phobia took over in which I stopped leaving my house. I eventually fell into a dark depression. I had lost most of my life and family members to addiction and had a hard time to coping”
Slowly she made her through the fog by joining self-help groups, getting therapy for PSTD and spiritual studies. Amber also credits a newfound passion for metaphysics as her greatest source of comfort. She is deeply into Astro-theology, Numerology and Feng Shui.
After a tremulous few years of self-discovery, it wasn’t until 2011 that Amber was able to focus back on her career. She accepted two independent films, “White Mule” and “That Old Moon” – both providing her meatiest roles to date!
However, what Amber finds even more fulfilling is her new speaking career! After her story was published in Ethlie Ann Vare’s book “LOVE ADDICT” (2011), she started to speak at colleges and rehabs. She speaks on both prescription pill abuse and love addiction. She hopes her own struggles will help other addicts and their family members.
Presently, Amber lives in an apartment in Hollywood, CA that she shares with two cats and a slew of Siamese fighting fish.