Inside Edition

02.04.14

NYPD: We Have Hoffman’s Diary

Police are reviewing the personal diaries of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in the hopes of finding answers.

Along with the envelopes of heroin, detectives found a rambling journal in Philip Seymour Hoffman’s apartment, police sources say.

Investigators are said to have reviewed the contents of the journals in case they shed some light on the circumstances of his death. The particulars are not known and presently remain within the bounds of privacy.

Meanwhile, over on Perry Street, where Hoffman would be seen locking up his bicycle and heading in to attend AA meetings, one longtime regular was wishing aloud that the actor had more fully involved himself in the often life-saving process there. Hoffman, the regular said, was more known to be “around the program,” not “in the program.”

To be around the program is just to attend the occasional meeting. But to be in the program is to take on sponsors and help others and sometimes lead a meeting.

“My experience is if you’re around it, things like that happen,” the Perry Street regular said of Hoffman’s death. “If you’re in it, things like that seldom happen.”

He added, “Especially if you have children.”

Perhaps Hoffman was more in the program when he first got sober more than two decades ago. One friend remembers him taking her to an AA meeting when she herself first got sober not long afterward. She says he is partly responsible for her remaining sober ever since.

Until recently, Hoffman had lived nearby with his three kids and their mother, Mimi O’Donnell. The mourners who visited their home on Tuesday included Hoffman’s own mother, former New York State Family Court Judge Marilyn O’Connor of Rochester.

When he won an Oscar for Best Actor in 2006 for his leading role in Capote, Hoffman thanked his mother from the stage, noting, “She brought up four kids alone and she deserves a congratulations for that.”

“And she took me to my first play and she stayed up with me and watched the NCAA Final Four, and my passions, her passions became my passions,” he went on to say. “And, you know, be proud, Mom, because I’m proud of you and we’re here tonight and it’s so good.”

The other top contender for Best Actor that year was Heath Ledger, who himself died of an accidental drug overdose in 2008.

Hoffman went on to such triumphs as his 2012 Broadway appearance in Death of a Salesman and he made sure to get house seats to the play not only for his mother, but for a number of her fellow Rochester judges and their spouses.

Yet he continued to wrestle with a demon that the Perry Street regular felt sure could be summarized in four syllables.

“Poor self image,” the regular said.

Police confirm that Hoffman made six withdrawals for a total of $1,200 from an ATM machine near his Greenwich Village home on Saturday. They believe this was likely in preparation for purchasing heroin, on which he overdosed later that night.

The heroin police found in the apartment did not prove to be laced with the highly potent drug fentanyl, and the contents of the journal remain the private writings of an actor whose most trying role may have been simply playing himself.