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Miss USA Tara Conner, who checked out of rehab on Jan. “I was an equal-opportunity [user] – I would try anything once.” The 21-year-old Russell Springs, Ky., native spent 31 days at the Caron Foundation rehab facility in Wernersville, Pa., as part of a “second chance” offered to her by Donald Trump, co-owner of the Miss Universe organization, following press reports of underage drinking, drug use and promiscuity.
It’s hard to look back at that,” she tells PEOPLE in its new issue.
Despite years of sobriety under her belt, Conner acknowledges that it’s still a daily process and that she’s learned to forgive herself for that. Then, eight months into her yearlong reign, Tara tested positive for cocaine. Now, Tara is ready to speak publicly about her path of self-destruction and drug addiction.When business mogul Donald Trump, co-owner of the Miss USA organization, called a press conference, everyone—including Tara—expected him to strip Tara of her crown. Former Miss USA Tara Conner had her battle with addiction made very public when she was called out by Donald Trump in 2006, but she is now hoping to help others win their battle with drugs.Conner has now been sober for over seven years and recently spoke at the 15th anniversary celebration of Greenville County drug court in South Carolina.