Philip Seymour Hoffman's partner Mimi O’Donnell opens up about late actor's drug addiction

Philip Seymour Hoffman's partner of over 14 years remembers when she first noticed that something was "brewing" with the actor.

Mimi O’Donnell opens up in a moving essay for Vogue's January issue about first meeting Hoffman at a theater in New York City in 1999 and the beautiful love story that ensued, which included the two parenting three children, Cooper, 14, Tallulah, 11 and Willa, 9. "When I look back at how close we all were, I wonder whether Phil somehow knew that he was going to die young," she reflects. "He never said those words, but he lived his life as if time was precious."

After being sober for well over a decade, O'Donnell says Hoffman was faced with a lot of trials all at once, which led to him returning to drugs and ultimately dying from a heroin overdose in early February 2014 at the age of 46.

"His longtime therapist died of cancer, which was devastating, and he had a falling out with a bunch of his AA friends," she writes. 

O'Donnell also says the Oscar winner started to take issue with his career in the entertainment industry. "Phil had a love/hate relationship with acting. The thing he hated most was the loss of anonymity," she recounts. "He was making film after film—we had a big family and had bought a bigger apartment -- and AA started to get short shrift. He’d been sober for so long that nobody seemed to notice."

See photos of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mimi O'Donnell together:

Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mimi O'Donnell together
See Gallery
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mimi O'Donnell together
Mimi O'Donnell, Philip Seymour Hoffman during World Premiere of Touchstone Pictures' '25th Hour' at Ziegfeld Theater in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
Philip Seymour Hoffman and wife Mimi O'Donnell during Opening Night of The Violet Hour on Broadway at The Biltmore Theater and The Supper Club in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
Philip Seymour Hoffman(R) and Mimi during Cold Mountain - New York Premiere - Outside Arrivals at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Philip Seymour Hoffman and wife Mimi O`Donnell during Fahrenheit 9/11 New York Screening - Inside Arrivals at Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mimi O'Donnell during 'Along Came Polly' Premiere at Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mimi during 'Palindromes' Presented by Gotham Magazine New York City Premiere - After Party at Cain in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Djamilla Rosa Cochran/WireImage)
Philip Seymour Hoffman and girlfriend Mimi during New York Film Festival - Capote Premiere - Arrivals at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 16: Mimi O'Donnell and Philip Seymour Hoffman attend The 63rd Annual GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS - Red Carpet Arrivals at The Beverly Hilton on January 16, 2006 in Beverly Hills, CA. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Philip Seymour Hoffman, nominee Best Actor in a Leading Role for 'Capote' (right) and Mimi O'Donnell (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 5: (L-R) Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mimi O'Donnell attend Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Morton's Restaurant on March 5, 2006. (Photo by Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29: Actors Philip Seymour Hoffman and wife Mimi O'Donelll pose at The LABrynth Theater Company 'Celebrity Charades' at St Paul's Church Hall on October 29, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 05: Mimi O'Donnell (L) and Philip Seymour Hoffman attend the premiere of 'The Ides of March' at the Ziegfeld Theater on October 5, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
NEW YORK, CA - June 21: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mimi O'Donnell are seen on June 21, 2013 in New York, California. (Photo by David Krieger/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mimi O'Donnell with Cooper Hoffman are seen on December 16, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Magnani/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

That's when Hoffman told her that he was considering drinking alcohol again, which she saw as a "red flag."

"He started having a drink or two without it seeming a big deal, but the moment drugs came into play, I confronted Phil, who admitted that he’d gotten ahold of some prescription opioids," O'Donnell recalls. "He told me that it was just this one time, and that it wouldn’t happen again. It scared him enough that, for a while, he kept his word."

After Hoffman completed his stint on Broadway's Death of a Salesman, that's when O'Donnell says his drug use escalated quickly. "It was all prescription stuff, though I don’t know where he was getting it. Again, I realized instantly, or at least I suspected," she notes.

It wasn't long before O'Donnell says Hoffman was on heroin again. "As soon as Phil started using heroin again, I sensed it, terrified. I told him, 'You’re going to die. That’s what happens with heroin,'" she recounts. "Every day was filled with worry. Every night, when he went out, I wondered: 'Will I see him again?'"

After several stints in rehab, Hoffman went to film The Hunger Games in Atlanta, Georgia, and "started isolating himself."

"It happened so quickly. Phil came home from Atlanta, and I called a few people and said that we needed to keep an eye on him," she continues. "Then he started using again, and three days later he was dead."

Nearly four years after his death, O'Donnell says Hoffman's memory is alive and well in her family. "We talk about him constantly, only now we can talk about him without instantly crying,” she writes. “We can talk about him in a way that feels as though there’s a remembrance of what happened to him, but that also honors him. We talk about his bad sides and his good sides, what he did that was funny and what he did that was crazy, and what he did that was loving and tender and sweet. We open up, and it brings us together and keeps his spirit alive.”

RELATED: Celebrities that have died in 2017:

Celebrities who died in 2017
See Gallery
Celebrities who died in 2017

Erin Moran, who is known for her role in TV sitcom "Happy Days," died at the age of 56 after a secret battle with cancer.


Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner died in his home at the Playboy Mansion of natural causes on September 27. He was 91 years old.

(Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Playboy)

Singer Chester Bennington of Linkin Park committed suicide in July, he was 41 years old.

(Photo by Scott Dudelson/WireImage)

David Cassidy died on November 21 after having been placed in a medically-induced coma. The '70s heartthrob and "Partridge Family" star was 67.

(Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images)

Comedian Jerry Lewis died on August 20. He was 91 years old.

(Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)

Tom Petty, the famed and beloved rocker behind hits like “American Girl” and “Free Fallin,” died in October following a cardiac arrest. He was 66.

(Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Actor Adam West attends the Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders Press Room at New York Comic-Con - Day 1 at Jacob Javits Center on October 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Legendary actress Mary Tyler Moore passed away at the age of 80.


John Heard, known for his role as the father in the Home Alone films, died on July 21. Some reports say he was 71-years-old, however, others have his age listed as 72.

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor peacefully passed away at his home in Kentucky in July after a long battle with Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 73.

(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

"Touched By an Angel" star Della Reese died at the age of 86 peacefully at her home on November 19.

(Photo by Maury Phillips/WireImage)

Roger Smith, who starred in the series "77 Sunset Strip" and was married to actress Ann-Margret, died Sunday in Sherman Oaks. He was 84.


Gregg Allman, best known for performing in The Allman Brothers Band, passed away at 69.


Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell died unexpectedly at 52 after he was found in a Detroit hotel room.


Comedian Don Rickles died at the age of 90 from kidney failure.


Comedian Charlie Murphy died at 57 from complications stemming from a battle with leukemia.


Roger Moore, a former James Bond star, died after a short battle with cancer at 89.


Jonathan Demme, the director known for his work on thriller "Silence of the Lambs," died at 73 from esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease.


Roger Ailes, who was at FOX News for two decades before being ousted last year for alleged sexual harassment, died at 77 after suffering a fall at his home.


Bill Paxton died unexpectedly at age 61 on February 25. 

( REUTERS/Fred Prouser)

AC/DC guitarist and co-founded Malcolm Young died in November at the age of 64 after a three-year battle with dementia.

(Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)

Soul singer Cuba Gooding Sr., who is also Cuba Gooding Jr.'s father, died at 72.


Neil Fingleton, "Britain's tallest man" and "Games of Thrones" star died at 36 from heart failure.

 (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

"Battlestar Galactica" star Richard Hatch died at 71. 

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) 

John Hurt, star of "The Elephant Man," died at 77. 

REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett 

Butch Trucks, founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, died at 69.

(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

Actor Miguel Ferrer died from throat cancer at 61.

(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Dick Gautier, known for is role in the Broadway musical 'Bye Bye Birdie' died at 85.

(Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)

Frank Deford, giant of sports journalism, died at 78.

(Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown/WireImage)

Rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry, who is known for hits like ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven," died at 90 years old.


Television personality Christopher 'Big Black' Boykin, known for his MTV show "Rob & Big," died at the age of 45.


Dina Merrill, the actress known for movies like "Butterfield 8" and "Operation Petticoat," died at 93.


Frank Pellegrino Sr. (R) died at age 72 following a battle with lung cancer. He was known for his role on "The Sopranos." 


Former pop singer Tommy Page was found dead at 46 in New York City.


"Doll Squad" star Francine York passed away at 80 after a battle with cancer.


Joni Sledge, the "We Are Family" singer, was found dead in her Phoenix home. She was 60.


Jazz legend Al Jarreau died at the age of 76.


Actor Robert Michael Morris died at age 77. His death was confirmed by friend Lisa Kudrow.


Monty Hall, one of the most popular game show hosts in American television died in September at age 96.

(Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Anne Jeffreys, star of ‘General Hospital’ and Broadway’s ‘Kiss Me Kate,’ died in September at 94.

(Photo by Rodrigo Vaz/FilmMagic)

Barry Dennen, member of the original cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” died in September at age 79.

(Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)

Famed soul singer Charles Bradley died in September at the age of 68.

(Photo by David A. Smith/Getty Images)

Harry Dean Stanton, the actor known for his roles in "Twin Peaks," "Big Love," "Pretty in Pink" and "Repo Man" died of natural causes in Los Angeles. He was 91.

(Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

Frank Vincent, who had a key role on "The Sopranos" and appeared in a number of Martin Scorsese films, died at age 78.

(Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

Nelsan Ellis, who starred in the HBO series True Blood, died on July 8 from alcohol withdrawal after years of struggling with substance abuse. He was 39 years old.

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Blake Heron, the child actor who starred in 1996's "Shiloh," died at age 35.

(Photo by Utopia Pictures/Getty Images)

Comedian Shelley Berman, who was famous as a "sit-down" comedian and later as Larry David's dad on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," died at the age of 92.

(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Dick Gregory, the trailblazing comic and civil rights activist whose unique brand of comedy combined cutting wit and contemporary headlines, died in August at the age of 84.

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Martin Landau, the all-purpose actor known for his Oscar-winning performance in Ed Wood, died in July. He was 89.

(REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Gary DeCarlo, the lead singer of Steam, died in June at the age of 75.

(Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images)

Michael Nyqvist, who starred in the Swedish film version of "The Girl With Dragon Tattoo," died after a battle with lung cancer. He was 56.


Prodigy, who made up one half of Mobb Deep, died in June. He was 42.

(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Comedian Ralphie May was found dead in his Las Vegas home in early October. He died of cardiac arrest at the age of 45.

(Photo by Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images for Pollstar)

"Benson" actor Robert Guillaume died on October 24 at the age of 89 following a long battle with breast cancer.

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Legendary New Orleans musician Fats Domino died of natural causes at the age of 89 at the end of October.

(Photo by James Crump/WireImage)

Former "Veronica Mars" actor Brad Bufanda died of a suspected suicide at the age of 34 at the beginning of November.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Rising rapper Lil Peep was found dead in his tour bus on November 15 in Arizona. He was 21. Officials are still determining his cause of death, which is suspected to be an accidental overdose.

(Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

Wendy Pepper, who was a fan-favorite on "Project Runway," died peacefully surrounded by family at the age of 53 in mid-November. No cause of death was given.

(Photo by Jonathan Grassi /Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Jim Nabors, widely adored for playing Gomer Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show," passed away in November 2017 at age 87.

(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

In November 2015, the cast of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 spoke with ET about working with the beloved actor.

"Right after he died, I found it really difficult to work on the scenes and look through the footage," Jennifer Lawrence reflected. "Obviously, it was a very emotional time and a tough time."


Philip Seymour Hoffman's Partner Finally 'Able to Function' One Year After His Death

'Twister' 20 Years Later: Remembering 'Sweet Guy' Philip Seymour Hoffman

Rachel McAdams Remembers Philip Seymour Hoffman At 'A Most Wanted Man' Premiere

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.