Jason Russell Isn’t on Drugs or Anything

Illustration for article titled Jason Russell Isn’t on Drugs or Anything

Who knew back in 2009 that when Jason Russell — the professed spawn of an improbable threesome between Steven Spielberg, Oprah, and Bono — was photographed pointing in the general foregrounded direction the phallic Washington Monument, he was subtly portending the day when he'd be caught in public masturbating and slapping the ground like an orangutan? Probably nobody who forked money over for a Kony 2012 action kit. In the wake of the 33-year-old's non-arrest by San Diego police and subsequent hospitalization yesterday for "interfering with traffic and acting irrationally," Russell's family released a statement assuring the general public that Kony 2012 videographer isn't on drugs:

Let us say upfront that Jason has never had a substance abuse or drinking problem, and this episode wasn't caused by either of those things. But yes, he did some irrational things brought on by extreme exhaustion and dehydration. On our end, the focus remains only on his health and protecting our family.


Well, there goes a perfectly legitimate cover story. The family added that the scrutiny surrounding Russell's video and Invisible Children in the days after the video's social media splash have affected Russell, which corroborates the explanation Invisible Children CEO Ben Keesey offered for Russell's behavior:

The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday.

With such a low threshold for reasonable public scrutiny, it's hard to imagine Russell following through on all of his professed goals, which are, in chronological order: "end the longest running war in Africa, get Joseph Kony arrested & redefine international justice," direct a Hollywood musical, study theology and literature at Oxford, and finally "move to New York to start ‘The Academy – which will be a school where the best creative young minds in the world attend." That makes sense — lots of people's broken dreams end in New York.

No charges have yet been or are planned to be filed against Russell for yesterday's incident.

‘Kony 2012' director not on drugs or drinking, family says [CNN]

Jason "Radical" Russell [PMc Magazine]



I'm sorry, I refuse to stop snarking on this man. Mental illness is extremely sad, and very serious, but this is a man who exploits other people in order to make himself look like a saint. And I think the author of this article is justified in saying that the scrutiny Jason Russell has come under has been very reasonable... people want to make sure their money is going where they intended it to go.

So no, I do not feel bad for someone who had a psychotic episode due to self-imposed fame. I feel like I have a bunch of well intentioned friends who were swindled by a delusional narcissist.