Nadia Lockyer recovers from sex and drugs scandal


The interview lasted more than two hours and no topic was off the table. Nadia sees this as an important step, talking about all that's happened to her, so she can finally move forward.

I met Nadia Lockyer at her home in Long Beach, where she's still unpacking boxes, working the twelve steps, and enjoying the simple life, like walking her son to school each day.

"Loving in every present moment is what I've learned to do and it's so beautiful," Nadia says. That's one of the lessons from more than a year in rehab, battling an addiction to methamphetamine, "It made me underweight, undernourished, spiritually and physically. It sucked Nadia from her soul."

From the outside, Nadia seemed to have it all -- Alameda County Supervisor married to one of the most powerful figures in state politics, California Treasurer Bill Lockyer who aspired to be governor. But, she was leading a secret life with a man she met three years ago at Kaiser Rehab in Cupertino -- Steve Chikhani, a San Jose construction worker.

It all became public after a violent confrontation between Nadia and Chikhani at a Newark hotel in Feb. 2012.

Nadia said, "I remember him falling back and just going 'no, no, no, no' like, 'no' like that. Like, you know, he couldn't, he surprised himself I think."

While authorities investigated whether to charge Chikhani with assault, Nadia took leave from the Board of Supervisors for a month of rehab, and returned to work with the spotlight on her.

Reports surfaced that she posed as Chikhani's attorney, so she could visit him in jail during the summer of 2011. Then, Nadia emailed the Mercury News with a shocking accusation that her husband, Bill, who was once Attorney General, the state's top cop, "bought and gave me drugs years before meeting Steve, then called me crazy when I sought help."

Nadia: "It was more personal stuff, relationship issues and that's why I said some of the statement was true, some of it wasn't."
Dan: "He never bought you drugs?"
Nadia: "No."
Dan: "He never gave you drugs?"
Nadia: "No."

Bill Lockyer declined our request for an interview. But last year his spokesman told the Mercury News it's "completely, totally, utterly false" that he provided drugs to his wife, but added Lockyer "experimented in his younger days. Those younger days have long since passed and the experiment has long been over. He has never abused drugs."

After that controversy, Nadia resigned from the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, and the Attorney General's Office refused to charge Chikhani for the hotel room incident, citing insufficient evidence. And it didn't help her case that she saw Chikhani after the alleged assault.

Nadia told me, "I believe that my credibility was drastically affected by my using."

Nadia says Chikhani began taunting her with a sex tape he made. And Bill saw it after someone dropped a copy in the mailbox at their Hayward home.

Then, the Mercury News reported "Chikhani … asked a reporter where he might sell sex tapes he had made with Lockyer" and "sent this newspaper a pair of links to two brief, undated YouTube videos of Lockyer engaged in sexual foreplay."

One was titled "Nadia Lockyer trying to get my vote".

"I was in complete shock," Nadia said. "The thing is I felt very alone. I didn't know where to begin to get help."

In May 2012, a judge approved Nadia's request for a restraining order that said Chikhani "threatened to sell things of a personal nature about me to some publication because i do not return his calls or respond to emails and text messages."

Steve Chikhani refused to be interviewed about that. He's back in rehab and emailed me, "I have been completely clean and sober since January. I am staying focused on my sobriety and continuing on the path of rebuilding my life. I have made too much progress to bring up the past."

It was all too much for Bill Lockyer. He filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences, and Nadia took her son to Southern California to stay with her sister -- a turning point. Just three days after arriving, her sister found Nadia's meth and pipe in the room she shared with her son.

Nadia: "My sister had saved my life. She called the police department and said that she found something in her home and right then I was arrested."
Dan: "It was your sister who turned you in?"
Nadia: "Yeah."

Nadia pleaded not guilty to felony possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor child endangerment. The judge put the case on hold until she completes rehab.

Nadia said at a news conference In September 2012, "I'm extremely happy to be receiving the help that I need."

Nadia faced many challenges in more than a year of rehab -- a relapse with alcohol, a bout with bell's palsy that left her face drooping, and an allergic reaction to psychotic medication that made her shake uncontrollably.

"They had to take me to the ER," Nadia tells me. "It was near Halloween and I remember the little girl in the waiting room staring at me, just going, and it looked like I was the exorcist or something."

Just last month, Nadia was allowed to leave rehab to live with her son and Bill. He withdrew the divorce papers after seeing the progress his wife has made.

Nadia has some new tattoos, to honor her Native American heritage, "Of course, I wouldn't have gotten this as supervisor, but I got this this in treatment."

She says they also symbolize strength and hope for the future, "I lost Nadia and I now have, you know, me back and I'm able to be present for my son, for my husband and for others."

Nadia has a hearing in January at which the judge could drop the charges against her, if she continues to do well. She tells me she hopes one day to get work as a lawyer, perhaps in a foundation, or as a social worker helping addicts or victims of domestic violence.

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