Shaun Weiss recently appeared on the June 15th episode of the Adam Carolla show with fellow child actor and former Nickelodeon star Natanya Ross to discuss their journeys to sobriety, experiences with prison and rehab, and current projects.
Weiss, best known for portraying goalie Greg Goldberg in the Mighty Ducks movie trilogy, is open about his struggles with drug addiction and time spent in jail. As Weiss noted on the show, several events led him to drugs, including the death of his father a bad breakup. While Ross had become addicted to drugs in her teens, Weiss explained that he had not found drugs until his late 30s. Weiss maintained a good attitude during the interview, joking that Carolla gave him “credit” for being addicted to heroin, but clarified that he was addicted to meth as well.
Even after being arrested for stealing about $150 dollars of merchandise from an electronics store to support his drug habit, Weiss admitted that being recognizable had its benefits.
“I feel like I got so lucky. Probably the best part about being in The Mighty Ducks was that the LA Sheriff’s deputies are huge Mighty Duck fans,” Weiss said. “They would hook me up with like extra peanut butter … you know, the perks, the important things. I had cops take me to McDonald’s on the way to jail and stuff.”
The special treatment continued in jail, but the experience could hardly be considered pleasant.
“When I get to LA county jail, they K-10ed me, which means like maximum level protective custody. That’s usually reserved for guys who have killed multiple people and they walk around in the orange suits,” Weiss said. “They just have me in that suit because they know that if I’m in general population, probably some shit will go down.”
“The craziest thing — this blew my mind — right when you get there and you’re about to go into like the dorm, when you get to jail, you have to join a gang for real. You have to declare what gang you’re in. I just was not [prepared], I didn’t know. I was like, do they have a child actor gang?” Weiss said with a laugh. “At one point, I felt like I was getting courted by like [Creative Artists Agency] or something. I know they knew that if I went with them, like having Goldberg in your gang is definitely some street cred somewhere.”
Weiss is now over two years sober and noted that his experiences in jail were enough to make him want to get clean. “When I’m in the middle of a day and I’m depressed or I get frustrated, I literally taught myself to think about what it’s like to be locked up in a jail. And it makes me feel better [that I’m not there].”
Weiss’ sobriety led him to get involved with Natanya Ross at Hope of the Valley a nonprofit organization focusing on feeding and supporting those who are experiencing homelessness. The organization raises money to provide people with tiny homes, three meals a day, counseling, job training, mental health support and medical care.
Weiss and Ross’ goal through the program is to provide support to others who are in the position they were once in, and to show that there is always hope to overcome addiction.