The actress Selma Blair is not afraid to share her personal life — especially in the wake of her 2018 Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis — but never before has she shared such harrowing details from her past.
In her new memoir Mean Baby, and in an interview with People Magazine, the Legally Blonde star details her decades-long alcohol addiction, which began at age 7, as well as other shocking personal trauma (suicide attempts, sexual assaults).
In an excerpt from her new memoir, Mean Baby, she writes, “The first time I got drunk it was a revelation. I always liked Passover. As I took small sips of the Manischewitz I was allowed throughout the seder a light-flooded through me, filling me up with the warmth of God. But the year I was seven, when we basically had Manischewitz on tap and no one was paying attention to my consumption level, I put it together: the feeling was not God but fermentation. I thought ‘Well this is a huge disappointment, but since it turns out I can get the warmth of the Lord from a bottle, thank God there’s one right here.’ I got drunk that night. Very drunk. Eventually, I was put in my sister Katie’s bed with her. In the morning, I didn’t remember how I’d gotten there.” Early on, she explained, she wasn’t drinking to get drunk, but was just taking “quick sips whenever my anxiety would alight. I usually barely even got tipsy. I became an expert alcoholic, adept at hiding my secret.”
Blair, 49, tells People Magazine in the latest issue that she probably would not have survived her childhood without alcohol. “That’s why it’s such a problem for a lot of people. It really is a huge comfort, a huge relief in the beginning. Maybe even the first few years for me because I did start really young with that as a comfort, as my coping mechanism.”