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Dave left his show...and the country. Despite the rumors, he says his sudden departure had nothing to do with not wanting the money or the fame. "I love being famous—it's phenomenal," Dave says. Instead, Dave says that he was leaving "circumstances that were coming with the new-found plateau" of fame.

"I've been in show business since I was 14, and I've heard the stories of what happens" to performers when they achieve great wealth and fame, Dave says. They start saying things like, "It's the people around me. Everyone's changed. I'm the same, but everything around me is changing."

Was he crazy? "No, not exactly," he says. "I wasn't crazy, but it's incredibly stressful. And I felt like in a lot of instances I was deliberately being put through stress because, when you're a guy that generates money, people have a vested interest in controlling you. And I feel like the people that were trying to control me were putting me through stressful situations."

"The way the people around you position themselves around you to get in your pockets and in your mind is infuriating to me," Dave says.
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FROM: Why Comedian Dave Chappelle Walked Away from $50 Million
Published on February 03, 2006

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