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Patrick Swayze’s widow tells of the actor’s alcoholism

Patrick Swayze and Lisa

Patrick with Lisa in 2007

Patrick Swayze’s widow, Lisa Niemi, has opened up in a heartfelt interview about how she is coping with the death her husband and the details of his drinking problem, saying he was a “different man” when he was drunk.

Swayze had a long battle with pancreatic cancer and died in September 2009, aged 57.

His 53-year-old widow, who was married to the Dirty Dancing and Point Break star for 34 years, says his alcoholism caused her to walk out on him in the middle of the night.

“For me the worst thing about him was the drinking,” she told the UK’s Times.

“He had a different personality when he drank that much. He was the nicest man on the planet unless he’d had a drink,” she said.

“People or animals could have got hurt when he was like that. It’s not good to be around anyone like that.”

Lisa said Swayze was never physically violent towards her, but was violent towards her emotionally.

“It’s not violence, it’s not hitting, it’s emotional unpredictability and also it’s very, very painful to see someone you love destroy himself,” she said.

“I told him, ‘I have to leave. I can’t sit here and watch you die.’ I genuinely thought that he was getting to that point. I left in the middle of the night.”

Lisa also opened up about the couple’s last words to each other and says that despite his low moments, her husband kept up his can-do attitude throughout the demise of his illness.

“After almost two years the disease had started to win. He had an infection that was not clearing up, complications. I decided to take him home, within a week or two he had died,” Lisa said.

“I wish I could say our last conversation had been profound. It was probably, ‘What do you want for your birthday?’,” she said.

“We told each other we loved each other over and over again. I never left the room without telling him. It still didn’t feel like enough.”

Patrick Swayze’s book, The Time of My Life, which he co-wrote with his wife up until two months before he died, is about the couple’s 34-year-marriage and their lives together.

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