A woman shares her story of relapsing, after a man paid her $25,000 to drink with him, under the guise of a business relationship.
In a TikTok posted Oct 18, actress Sarah Pribis (@sarahpribis) opened up about how a seemingly innocent fundraiser went sideways. She explains that while hosting HQ Trivia, a mobile trivia game, she got involved with a charity who asked to auction off lunch with her as a donation prize. She agreed, and met with the highest bidder for their lunch date.
She explains that the bidder was a “much older man” who worked in a different industry but was clearly wealthy, and presented himself as interested in “financing the arts.”
“Or so I thought,” Pribis adds.
hope this helps someone♬ original sound – sarahpribis
Pribis says that she continued to meet with the man periodically, as he had hired her to research shows that had been pitched to him as potential investment projects.
“Looking back, I think the entire thing was just a lie,” she says. “But I wanted to believe I wasn’t just having lunch with a strange man for money, and that I was actually working for him.”
However, Pribis says that there were red flags from the very beginning. They always met in the private room of a restaurant, and he would always order an expensive bottle of wine and insist on pouring a glass for Pribis. She says that she had been upfront with him about her alcoholism, but the man rejected this, saying that he “doesn’t believe” in alcoholism and that the glass of wine was “just in case.”
“Again, there were warning signs, and I should have listened to my gut,” Pribis says. “But all I could focus on was the fact that he was very interested in [potentially financing] some of my projects.”
Things took a turn when the man finally agreed to finance one of Pribis’s projects, and offered her a check for $25,000. The stipulation? He asked her to share a glass of wine with him, in exchange for the money.
Pribis expected that she would be able to only have a few sips and abstain from drinking any more afterwards, and return to her sobriety. In part, she was successful at this, remaining sober for several months afterwards.
However, she says that she was tormented by the secret of how she got the money, and it weighed on her. Being unable to sleep, she began to take benadryl each night, which quickly snowballed into abusing prescription medications such as Klonopin and Ativan.
“Then I was like, oh, I’m relapsing, so I might as well go all in,” Pribis says.
Pribis shares that this led to almost a year of a “very brutal relapse,” which she describes as one of the darkest times of her life. Thankfully, she was eventually able to recover.
“I’m super grateful that I was able to come clean and get clean again,” she says. “Because a lot of people don’t make it back.”
To conclude the video, Pribis says that the show is still in development, and that she’s been working hard on it. She ends her video with a warning: “Not all money is good money.”
Commenters were shocked by what many are calling an abuse of power, an issue that many women in the entertainment industry know all too well.
“Yes they’re paying you but what is it costing you,” one user wrote.
“Living in Hollywood the amount of times I’d be offered large sums of money to compromise myself was terrifying,” another shared.
Many commenters commended Pribis for her vulnerability and openness in sharing her story.
“Absolutely incredible that you fought your way back,” another user wrote. “I hope you find someone to finance your next project who believes in you as a person and artist.”
“Your vulnerability is a roadmap for others who are struggling,” one user said.
The Daily Dot reached out to Pribis via email.