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American Psycho author Brett Easton Ellis confirms long-term partner has been committed to a psych ward

Bret Easton Ellis at the 14th Rome Film Festival on October 20, 2019 in Rome, Italy (Getty Images for RFF)
Bret Easton Ellis at the 14th Rome Film Festival on October 20, 2019 in Rome, Italy (Getty Images for RFF)

American author Brett Easton Ellis has revealed that his long-term partner has been been committed to a psych ward for three months after a drug-induced breakdown.

Easton Ellis, who is best known for writing American Psycho (which was later turned into a hit 2000 film starring Christian Bale), confirmed that Todd Michael Schultz, his partner of 14 years, had been committed but has no idea “of where he is or why he is there.”

It follows months of erratic behaviour from aspiring pop singer Schultz. Last week, People reported that he was arrested for breaking into a neighbour’s house and “ransacking her things”; in 2023, he announced his intention to run for President as the Republican nominee via a social media video.

In a lengthy Instagram post, Ellis explained that he had been struggling with addiction for ten years but had been “in its increasing grip” ever since. According to the New York Times, Schultz is currently being held in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Downtown Los Angeles, following a rescheduled court date he was in “no position” to attend.

On Instagram, the author went onto open up about his own family’s troubles with drug and alcohol misuse. “I lost my youngest sister to a combination of both last August (she died at 53) and my father's struggles with alcoholism led to his death at 50 in 1992,” he wrote.

He went onto add that “it is a complicated dance when you're living with an addict with mental health issues [who] you love and care about: they CAN convince you that everything is fine, and YOU are blinded because you want to believe it too and avoid the pain and stress and heartbreak that comes with your ultimate understanding of the situation.”

“Todd was always someone who I thought was eccentric and erratic but functioning,” Ellis added, while their difference in age (he is 59 and Schultz 37) meant they led largely separate lives.

He went on to reveal that he had kicked the “out of control” Schultz out of his apartment in 2021, after which he went to rehab “because he had no other financial options left.”

After being treated, Schultz was released in 2022 but went downhill again after six months. “‘Something’ started creeping in and in 2023 it built and built until, like the summer of 2021, it was impossible to resist anymore,” Ellis wrote.

He explained that Schultz, once released, would be “placed into a long-term dual psychiatric-rehab facility,” finishing his statement by saying “I don’t think it’s too late for him and I hope to know the Todd I first met in 2010 again.”

Ellis’ post met with an outpouring of support on social media. Fashion designer Marc Jacobs wrote that he was “sending you love, empathy and compassion,” while Real Housewives of New York’s Leah McSweeney said that “watching loved ones suffer from addiction and mental health issues was way more painful than me dealing with my own. And that is no easy feat… I hope you both receive understanding and compassion.”

Ellis himself was pictured out for dinner around the same time that the news aired, looking sombre alongside writer Blake Butler, as Butler wrote he was having dinner with the “king of LA.”

He shot to fame at 21 when his first novel American Psycho was published in 1991 – making him a literary sensation overnight. His most recent novel, The Shards, was published in 2023, and is being adapted into a HBO series.