Michael Phelps is many things. He’s a former Olympic champion. He’s also a spokesperson for mental health awareness. Phelps has had some issues in his past, however, dealing with both depression and substance abuse.
Phelps is now happily married with a family, but there was a time when he was single. One woman alleged to have dated Phelps, though he never commented on the matter, eventually took the opportunity to speak ill of the swimmer, comparing him to noted Hollywood bad boy Charlie Sheen.
So what allegedly happened between the two, and why did she say Phelps was so bad? Let’s dig deeper and find out more.
Who is Michael Phelps?
Phelps is one of the most decorated Olympians of all-time as a swimmer. His profile on Biography.com states that he’s won the most Olympic medals by any athlete. He’s won 13 gold medals on his own and 23 overall. Phelps is the first American man to qualify for five Olympic squads, first qualifying for the Olympics at 15. He competed in the following Olympic Games:
- 2000 Sydney
- 2004 Athens
- 2008 Beijing
- 2012 London
- 2016 Rio
He later became the oldest person to win an Olympic gold medal in an individual event at 28. He’s since retired from Olympic competition. Phelps has always been grateful for his ability and his success, stating:
“I say this a lot, but every single day I’m living a dream come true … As a kid, I wanted to do something that no one had ever done before, and I’m enjoying it. Being able to finish how I won is just something very special to me and this is why you are seeing more and more emotion on the medal podium.”
Michael Phelps’ personal issues
RELATED: How Michael Phelps Manages Stress
While his life may appear to be a fairy tale, Phelps has his own issues to deal with as well. He has battled depression throughout his life. He’s proof positive that no matter how successful one is, depression and mental illness still have the ability to take their toll. CNN reported that Phelps eventually sought treatment for his issues:
“I remember going to treatment my very first day, I was shaking, shaking because I was nervous about the change that was coming up … I needed to figure out what was going on.”
He’s also struggled with substance abuse. The New York Times reported that in 2014, Phelps received a suspended prison sentence for a DUI and later attended Alcoholics Anonymous. Phelps appears to have settled down — but there’s one person from his past who at least claims to have been hurt by the Olympic champion.
How Michael Phelps’ rumored ex once called him “Worse Than Charlie Sheen”
Taylor Lianne Chandler made headlines in 2015, claiming that she and Phelps hooked up after meeting on Tinder. That same year, Phelps announced his then-girlfriend and current wife Nicole Johnson would be having his child. This news was tough for Chandler to hear. According to Cosmopolitan, Chandler posted on Facebook about Phelps:
“Let’s just say he makes Charlie Sheen look like an amateur! I hope that baby is born free of STD’s. He’s not the safest when pursuing his extracurricular activities outside the girls he is ‘dating’.”
It’s a sad statement by someone that appears to be a jilted ex-lover. If Chandler’s claim is true — and it should be noted that Phelps never confirmed or denied any relationship with her — it clearly represents the words of someone who was hurt. If the two did in fact hook up, either Phelps misled Chandler or the two had poor communication.
The Sheen comparison is a harsh one to be sure, but people tend to say hurtful things after they themselves have been hurt. Here’s hoping that Chandler has been able to move on from the incident.