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New documentary details Roy Halladay’s addiction to painkillers, depression and anxiety

Halladay was “tormented” by fears of failure.

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Tonight, ESPN will release what is bound to be a heart-breaking and bittersweet E:60 documentary entitled “Imperfect: The Roy Halladay Story.” In it, his widow Brandy admits that the former Phils star hurler was an addict.

Halladay told ESPN’s John Barr, “Everybody saw him as this very strong, dominant person, but he was terrified. He didn’t feel like he had the luxury of making a mistake. He was tormented. He truly was. He was a tormented man.”

The documentary discusses Halladay’s early career addiction to alcohol, which led to the Toronto Blue Jays organization seeking to get him help. As Halladay’s career was derailed by back issues following the 2011 season, teammate Kyle Kendrick said he noticed his friend wasn’t always the same guy.

”Just the way he was acting, you could just see something was wrong. I tried to talk to him, and felt like he wasn’t there. It was just terrible to see,” Kendrick said.

The documentary examines efforts by the Phillies and Brandy in 2013 and upon his retirement to get Halladay help for an addiction to painkillers and anxiety medication. Halladay spent three months in a rehab facility after his playing days were over.

”Those pills weren’t fixing the problem,” Brandy Halladay says, “they were masking the symptoms for him to do his job.”

However, Halladay crashed his single-person airplane into the Gulf of Mexico in November of 2017. Toxicology reports show he had opioids, amphetamines, anti-depressants and anti-inflammatory medication in his system that day.

Here’s a short clip of the documentary that will air tonight on ESPN.