TV dinosaur Barney has admitted for the first time that he became a hardened heroin abuser in a desperate attempt to fill a "love shaped hole" after the demise of his popular TV show.
Barney said things got so hard after his cancellation he was employing drug dealers to inject him intravenously during his sleep in an effort to systematically avoid a world he came to see as a "loveless void".
The news was America's worst kept secret with the tabloid press reporting last year of "an unnamed purple dinosaur" seen engaging in daily bouts of illegal narcotics outside the television studios which had dismissed him after his famously shocking x-rated bust up.
During a show-ending performance of his smash hit "I love you", Barney began happy-slapping the children before being restrained by crew members. In a press conference designed to apologise for the incident, Barney, who was later revealed to have been high on a cocktail of hard drugs, launched a stinging verbal attack on the show's children, describing them as "careerist little shits" and condemning the show's central message of unconditional love as "hypocritical bullshit".
Later work as an acerbic children's TV critic was a critical and financial disaster and he finally hit rock bottom after a violent altercation with purple Teletubby Tinky Winky, whom he had accused of "plagiarism".
It was then he decided to come clean about his drug addiction and depression in a particularly morbid episode.
"During my television days I used love the way I later used freebasing heroin and crystal meth" he said "to cover up my own feelings of lack of self-worth. For years I sung that inane song "I love you" - I just wish that once I would have been able to say "I love me".