The issue is one that transcends all boundaries and spheres. Opiate addiction hits in every pocket of society, and but of course, touches people in all walks of life and stations.
Sports agent Darren Prince has enjoyed a top grade roster of clients, and today, just having moved to LA after growing up and residing in NJ, reps names like Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Dennis Rodman, Charlie Sheen and ex-fighters Roy Jones Jr and Micky Ward.
Today, Oct. 18, Prince, age 48, will appear at a book-store in New Jersey to sign copies of his memoir written with Kristen McGuiness, “Aiming High: How a Prominent Sports and Celebrity Agent Hit Bottom at the Top,” alongside Ward.
The pairing makes sense, in that Prince was addicted to opiates for 23 years, and just celebrated 10 years of sobriety, while Ward has experienced addiction from another side, being that his brother Dicky Eklund has had a well publicized battle with substances.
At 6:30 PM, Prince and Ward will be at “Books and Greetings” in Northvale, NJ, to do a Q & A. Prince told me that he’s hoping people from the region come out, and people in need of education, and perhaps also those combating the ravages of active addiction, attend and learn and get lifted up.
“I hope that people from the town, kids, teens, adults, everyone can come and listen to this subject from both these sides,” Prince said on Tuesday.
In the book, readers will learn how even as Prince was helping pull of deals and coups such as getting Muhammad Ali and his client Joe Frazier to have a private dinner before the 2002 NBA All-Star Game, and then sit court-side the next day for the contest, he was in a private hell.
“I was high on opiates, I didn’t feel worthy or believe in myself, despite being around them both countless times,” Prince said. Indeed, Frazier was like a father figure to him; he repped Smokin’ Joe from 1995 until the PA legend passed away, in 2011. “Yet I couldn’t be ‘present’ for that history,” Prince continued. “It was a secret hell.”
Prince lived in Livingstone, NJ, and was knee-deep in the boxing game, doing managerial and promotional affairs for people like Roy Jones. He is looking forward to doing the event with Ward, with whom he’s worked with for about 14 years.
“It will be heartwarming but also some stuff hard to hear. I hear Dicky is doing better, but yet many people don’t understand addiction from the different sides. People want to strangle an addict, but that person often has demons, root issues. And we will talk about there being hope in recovery, that there is another way. In the book, there are stories about this so-called super agent, but really, I worked with extraordinary people. You can have exterior success, and still be broken. And my main message is, there’s hope in recovery.”