Richman said he had no knowledge that Simmons, 50, suffered a drug overdose, as reported by TMZ. A representative for Simmons told TMZ that he was rushed to the hospital on Friday night after collapsing at his home.
“At this time he remains in ICU in critical condition,” the statement said, according to TMZ. “Earl has been a warrior his entire life. This situation represents yet another road he must conquer.”
The rapper burst on the music scene in 1998 when his debut album “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” became a platinum-selling success, boasting hit singles such as “Ruff Ryders Anthem” and “How’s It Goin’ Down.” He furthered his ascent to hip-hop legend status with more platinum-selling records, including the crossover smash “Party Up (Up in Here).”
DMX is one of the few rappers to have his first five studio albums debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, GQ reported.
Simmons has also chronicled his abuse-riddled childhood and drug addiction in his music and in interviews. In 2013, he told motivational speaker and life coach Iyanla Vanzant that he struggled with marijuana, crack cocaine and cocaine and was battling addiction even when he signed his first major recording deal.
“Just because you stop getting high doesn’t mean that you don’t have a problem because it’s a constant fight everyday,” he said in that interview. “Every trigger that was a trigger is still a trigger. Whether you act on it or not is something different. But I will always, until I die, I will always have a drug problem.”
The rapper said in a 2017 interview that his faith has helped him through his struggles with inner turmoil and addiction.
Richman said Simmons’s run-ins with the law are what brought them together.
“I was always a quick dial,” said Richman, 83, who has nearly 60 years of practice under his belt. “He knew I cared for him. He was responsive to me. He called me his father.”
The two met when Simmons was cleared of rape, sodomy and false-imprisonment charges more than 20 years ago, after DNA evidence proved his innocence. They grew closer after a family court case that Richman worked as a favor for the musician. When the two walked out of court, Simmons turned to him and said, “You’re the only man who’s ever been there for me,” according to Richman.
Richman said he shrugged off the comment at the time, telling Simmons that he would still have to pay for the legal services, but they remained in contact for legal issues and general life advice.
Richman said he received a call just two weeks ago from Simmons in which the artist simply wanted to tell Richman that he loved him.
“I really love this kid. He’s different and lovely,” Richman said, calling Simmons one of the greatest poets of our time. “The fact is I’m troubled by this.”