Home Pop Culture An inside look of a former Conde Nast editor Cat Marnell who...

An inside look of a former Conde Nast editor Cat Marnell who chose drugs over love and her career.

Cat Marnell
Cat Marnell

If you have ever wanted to know how some of those literary/arty druggy types manage to somehow survive and keep their career (until they eventually just can’t hold on that is) then page 6 magazine would like to do you a favor and introduce you to Cat Marnell as it spends an evening with the former Conde Nast and xojane editor as she discusses crack, coke and angel dust binges and why in the end she chose the good shit over love and her career.

Begins the expose:

It’s 9 p.m. on a Tuesday and Cat Marnell is shuffling around her East Village apartment with amphetamine-fueled purpose-pulling sheets over her mattress, lathering her legs with bronzer, filing her favorite book back on a shelf: Norman Mailer’s 1973 biography of Marilyn Monroe, one of the many troubled dead celebrities she’s fascinated with.

“I’ve always been interested in overdoses and addictions,” she says. “I’ll read [about] that stuff forever. I’m obsessed with cocaine overdoses in British society.’

From there the page 6 columnist is led through a primer on how Cat Marnell managed to co exist in the literary world with a consortium of hard drugs (except that is for heroin and smoking meth, cause that shit would ruin her already ruined looks) that have along with her deference for no food (except a bucket of the occasional chicken wings)and Gatorade, Adderall, vodka, cigarettes allowed the vixen to retain her svelte (yes I’m in a snark mood this morning) 98 pound figure.

Offers radaronline who have also reflected on the page 6 mag article:

The 29-year-old, who was fired from her day job by Jane Pratt when she refused to get clean and describes herself as the “bald Britney Spears of the literary world”, had no qualms about inviting the magazine journalist into her New York City apartment, which was infested with crack pipes, prescription pill bottles and European fashion magazines, and bringing her out for a wild night on the town, where she snorted cocaine in front of her and ingested a variety of other drugs.

Says Marnell to the page 6 columnist:

“I couldn’t spend another summer meeting deadlines behind a computer at night when I could be on the rooftop of Le Bain looking for shooting stars and smoking angel dust with my friends,”

Cat Marnell

For better or worse at least Marnell is honest about her predilection and addiction and rather than deny it like so many in the arts and literary world (or any professional vocation) she has simply chosen to own up to it and simply commit to it.

“I choose drugs over sex and I always have. People have wanted to date me, and I try, but I can’t. It’s very hard for people to understand addicts are very selfish.”

Who can criticize a girl who admits to her priorities? At least she’s honest enough to realize that she’s got no intention of giving up the good shit and is here to commit to the miserable end. As a former wall street trader myself and a heavy coke user a decade ago I can only understand and sympathize with Cat Marnell who has honestly made her choice, even if it took this author years of self recrimination, self hate, disgust and ingenuous ways to mutilate oneself before he gave up on being a druggie and chose to be the idealistic young man he once was and had sought to once again be. Yes fuck the world. Fuck the pain.

But if you think Marnell is just going to sit there and snort herself to death you’re wrong, cause them chaps at Vice Mag see lots of potential in her story, as they rightly should. Who after all isn’t curious to know what it’s like to be a druggie, deal with existential crises and how to navigate life without having to pretend that you care what society thinks of you.

“If she told us tomorrow she wanted to stop taking drugs, we would help her do that,” says Rocco Castoro of Vice who hired Cat to write about her escapades (AMPHETAMINE LOGIC). “She’s writing about her life, and it’s brave. The reality is, she would continue to do drugs without having an outlet to write about it. She’s an important writer who should have an outlet. We don’t glorify it; we’re just honest about it. Anyone who knows someone who uses drugs knows: You can’t tell them to stop. From the beginning, I told her, ‘I’m not going to be your parent.'”

Cat Marnell

And what does Marnell herself think about being a druggie?

“I don’t want to die and I’m not a heroin addict. I’ve done it, but it’s not my drug. I don’t even drink that much. I can write about drugs and do them at the same time because I’m on uppers. And I have my limits. I would never do meth, just for vain reasons. I’m wildly interested in it, but I won’t do it now. I’ve done it when I was younger; I’ve done everything.”

She doesn’t want to die an ugly death which is why she keeps away from certain drugs but the truth is she is dying an ugly death from the inside, although to her credit she will continue to leave hopefully some provocative work for us to ponder about even if she refuses to let go off the grip and live life naturally with all the flaws and disappointments that drugs do such a wonderful job of shielding from us. Then again that’s why some of us become artists, to seek shelter,light and enlightenment (which is how you lot so often find enlightenment yourselves) even if it means going through back alleys and living in them metaphorically as well…

But perhaps this comment from Cat can finally shed some light as to who she really is and what may or not be in store for her and how by extension her story is our collective story as we all strive to come to terms with ourselves, our demons, frailties, insecurities and desires…

“I’m not a happy person. I’m a narcissist, but I hate myself. I have tons of friends, but the subtext of those relationships is, well, they’re sort of like party people. I go out because it stimulates my brain, but I’m not going out to meet guys and hook up. You go where the drugs are.” She gets quiet for a second and adds, “I do have a desire to change and stop; I would really love not to be on pills. I just don’t know if the AA thing is what I want right now. I get very bored by it. I’m just not ready for it yet.

above image found here

And this is the good shit worth killing yourself over...




  1. As a fellow traveler, I’d like to ask, what is your favorite ticket to take the ride? Mine is oxycontin, though right now I find methadone + clonazepam gets me a wicked high plus it takes my severe back pain away, at a much higher level (longer lasting, too) than say, 10 10mg vics or 3-4 OC 80s throughout the day. And it’s 10x cheaper, even without insurance.

  2. So you don’t give a shit that she is who she is and does what she does. Yet you care about someone who might read it and think it’s a good idea? If this teenager you don’t know does it, and you read an article later on about how this teen OD’d, with no other details. Would you honestly care? Or would you say “she made her choice and paid the price?”

    You really same the type to boil things down to “it’s all about choice, always, you always have a choice, always, no matter the situation. I am wise like that” (:P)

  3. I give you a lot of props Cat, your being brave and honest and unapologetic for the reality of many peoples lives. Keep being honest to yourself, and I wish you luck sister!

  4. I’ll be honest. I don’t give a rat’s a$$ about Cat Marnell bc she chose this lifestyle. What I do care about is how some teenie bopper is going to read it and think, “Hey, if she does it and is fine I will be too. No, you won’t be fine. Likely you’ll be dead if you’re lucky. If you’re not lucky and do drugs you’ll end up like the people I service in therapy, empty shells of human beings walking this earth with barely any brains left. You’re better off swimming in an brain eating ameoba lake than abusing drugs. You’ll age quickly. I’ve seen teens look like they are in their twenties and thirty year olds look like they are pushing late fifties. If looking like s%$# before your time is your thing, then that’s another matter. But don’t push it to kids by protraying a model having fun. Let’s see her in ten years. 10:1 she’ll look forty or older, no decent bf, no job, no kids. We don’t need kids becoming losers. The economy is a hard enough barrier at the moment.

  5. Scallywag, I’d like to say thanks. Almost every article I have read of late about Cat Marnell has included the following words or phrases – train wreck, hot mess, exploited, Conde Nast drop out, trust fund, entitled. I feel like the same stale words have been regurgitated over and over by many people in a seemingly never ending version of one point of view. It seems to me to be a very lazy way to present someone whose writing is anything but boring and unadventurous. So Thankyou Scallywag for offering a fresh perspective. Thanks for using your own words. Thanks for not hitching a ride on an ever growing bandwagon of copy cat writers full of vitriol and finger pointing. I applaud you and it seems Cat does too.

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