Information Anchor Frank Somerville Says He Was ‘Trashed’ on DUI Taco Bell Run

Frank Somerville had a tough 2021—and he’s lastly prepared to speak about it on digicam. The veteran Bay Space newsman, whose terrible 12 months culminated in drunkenly slamming his Porsche into one other car on Dec. 30, sat down with San Francisco outlet KRON4 to talk for practically half-hour concerning the months main as much as the crash.

“All of it got here to a head after I received the DUI,” he stated.

Somerville is a widely known face within the Bay Space, having begun broadcasting on his longtime station KTVU in 1992, ascending to change into a co-anchor by 2008. In June 2021, although, he gave a broadcast by which he noticeably slurred his phrases, resulting in a viral clip, nationwide headlines, and a depart of absence.

In a Fb publish reflecting on the state of affairs greater than a 12 months later, Somerville claimed for the primary time that “as tousled as I used to be I didn’t drink on the air.” As a substitute, he stated, he’d by chance taken two highly effective sleeping drugs. “How I even made it residence that night time is past me,” he wrote.

It was a declare he reiterated on Wednesday in his KRON4 interview. “I used to be taking what I assumed was one in all my prescribed drugs; as a substitute, it was two Ambien,” he stated.

The anchor went on to acknowledge long-standing points with substance abuse, saying he’d used medicine and alcohol “virtually each night time” on the top of his dependancy. “I used to be so unhappy and lonely from the divorce and lacking my youngsters and the pandemic positive as hell didn’t assist as a result of now, I used to be on their lonesome,” he stated. “I used to be a complete mess.”

After greater than two months of what a spokesperson for his dad or mum community known as “medical depart,” a interval which Somerville stated he spent in a rehabilitation facility, he was again on the air. However in September, he was suspended indefinitely after disagreeing with the station bosses about the right way to cowl the Gabby Petito homicide, which was then a missing-person case.

Somerville, who has a Black daughter, wished so as to add a 46-second “tag” to an replace on the Petito story that acknowledged the racially disproportionate media protection of Black and white crime victims. The tag was reduce—over Somerville’s protestations—by producers after newsroom editors expressed misgivings about it, a supply advised the San Francisco Chronicle on the time. Somerville was suspended the following day.

“I assumed the protection throughout the nation of Gabby Petito was insane,” he advised KRON4. “There was no purpose for it apart from she was a cute white child. However for some purpose, I used to be suspended over that. I nonetheless, to at the present time, am unsure why.”

For some time, his destiny appeared suspended, however in November, Somerville advised the Bay Space Information Group that he was “by no means going to anchor” at KTVU once more. His contract with the station expired in 2022.

Then, a month later, got here the crash. After rear-ending one other car and plowing by means of a busy intersection, pushing the opposite automobile right into a pole, the dazed anchor was booked on DUI expenses, with court docket charging paperwork displaying that his blood alcohol focus was 0.24 p.c. (The authorized restrict in California is 0.08 p.c.)

Somerville has “completely no recollection of the accident,” he advised KRON4. “I used to be near as comatose as you may be,” he stated.

The anchor stated that he’d spent a lot of the night consuming himself right into a near-stupor. “It was Christmastime,” he stated. “I used to be away from my household. I didn’t see them at everywhere in the holidays. It was only a actually unhappy time, and so I received—I received trashed. There’s no different technique to say it, I received trashed in my house.”

Then, hungry for Taco Bell, he climbed into his Porsche. “I had completely no enterprise in any respect to drive—in any respect,” he advised KRON4, including later that he needs he may apologize to the opposite driver, who was barely injured within the crash.

Somerville advised the Chronicle on Wednesday that he’s at present targeted on his restoration and staying sober from medicine, although he advised KRON4 he nonetheless has the occasional alcoholic drink. “It’s a piece in progress,” he added.

As for his future, Somerville stated, he might attempt educating, or return to tv information, although he acknowledged {that a} return might not be completely as much as him.

“All of it depends upon a station hiring me, which requires a station taking an opportunity on me,” he advised the Chronicle. “I include a background. I made an enormous mistake.”

“On the similar time,” he added after a pause, “I’m a rattling good anchor.”