This week, Duchovny and his wife, Tea Leoni , separated for a second time in their year marriage. Duchovny, 50, and Leoni, 45, have weathered this storm before: In , they spent several months apart after he admitted that he was a sex addict and voluntarily checked himself into a treatment center. He was the first celebrity to own up to sex addiction. Other public figures have sought treatment following sexual indiscretions since then -- golfer Tiger Woods and most recently, former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner , whose wife is reportedly seeking distance from him. But Duchovny still holds the distinction of being the only celebrity to cite sex addiction as his reason for treatment, as opposed to depression, "undisclosed reasons" or any number of other ailments.
One of them was that he'd been caught having an affair with his tennis instructor a woman and that he was undergoing rehab to save his marriage. Alas, it isn't so, says a close friend. Duchovny did not check in because of an extramarital fling. That much the friend is certain of. Even more so: Duchovny's problem has been longstanding. His wife, Tea Leoni, was aware of it for some time.
Steve Eichel, an addiction specialist who works in Delaware. Sexual health experts estimate that about percent of Americans have the disorder, including women. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms range from rampant promiscuity to spending hours looking at pornography and using sex to escape from problems such as depression or stress. It is often accompanied by secrecy and shame, and sufferers have difficulties with emotional intimacy. Before marrying actress Tea Leoni in , Duchovny was linked with a string of women, and in the mids he was forced to deny reports that he had attended meetings to control his cravings.
A small crowd has gathered in front of the Fox theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Carrying rolled-up copies of Variety magazine and holding up mobile phone cameras, they press their flesh as close to the metal barricade as possible. They are here to see David Duchovny , most famous for the newly resurrected science-fiction drama The X-Files , whose star is being unveiled on the Walk of Fame today. Duchovny is a recovering sex addict and a famously private man. A few hours later, at a nearby hotel, I ask Duchovny if this is true.