Selma Blair’s new memoir has revealed the star’s long battle with alcoholism, getting drunk at the age of seven and being sexually abused multiple times, the trauma of which led her to the brink of suicide.
Blair, who is perhaps best remembered as the naïve high school student in ‘Cruel Intentions’ (1999), has also been in the news over the past few years in the wake of her 2018 Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, which she went public with to raise awareness about the disease that impacts the brain and spinal cord.
Her new memoir, ‘Mean Baby’, goes into horrifying details about her battle with the bottle that began in the early years of her childhood.
“I don’t know if I would’ve survived childhood without alcoholism,” Blair told People. “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.”
In an accompanying excerpt from her memoir that was published by People, Blair chronicled the first time she reached for the bottle.
“The first time I got drunk it was a revelation. I always liked Passover. As I took small sips of the Manischewitz [kosher wine] I was allowed throughout the seder a light flooded through me, filling me up with the warmth…. But the year I was seven, when we basically had Manischewitz on tap and no one was paying attention to my consumption level,” she wrote, referring to a particular night. “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.”
The actress went on to write that over the years she became an “expert alcoholic, adept at hiding my secret.”
Yet, as the alcohol abuse escalated in her teens and 20s, she was forced to deal with a personal trauma during a college spring break trip when she was raped after a day of binge-drinking.
Recalling the incident in her memoir, she wrote: “I don’t know if both of them raped me. One of them definitely did. I made myself small and quiet and waited for it to be over. I wish I could say what happened to me that night was an anomaly, but it wasn’t. I have been raped, multiple times, because I was too drunk to say the words ‘Please. Stop.’ Only that one time was violent. I came out of each event quiet and ashamed.”
The 49-year-old revealed further that this was the first time she was sharing details about her rapes to anyone other than her therapist.
“Writing that stopped me dead in my tracks,” she told People. “My sense of trauma was bigger than I knew. I did not realise that assault was so central in my life. I had so much shame and blame. I’m grateful I felt safe enough to put it on the page. And then can work on it with a therapist and with other writing, and really relieve that burden of shame on myself.”
Blair, whose acting credits include films such as ‘Legally Blonde’ (2001), ‘The Sweetest Thing’ (2002) and ‘After’ (2019), revealed that she’s been sober since 2016 and was in a good place in her life now, despite battling Multiple Sclerosis, and was hopeful that sharing her pain through her memoir would help others who have been in her shoes.
‘Mean Baby’ is available from May 17.