Flashback: Donna Summer Talks Suicide Attempt

by 12:00 PM PDT, May 18, 2012
Playing Flashback: Donna Summer Talks Suicide Attempt

Donna Summer -- who passed away Thursday morning after a battle with lung cancer -- opened up to ET in 2008 with a very candid interview about her career highs and lows, which included depression and even a suicide attempt in the late '70s.

Related: Queen of Disco Donna Summer Dies

"It sort of snuck up on me," the former Disco Queen told Mary Hart while promoting her album Crayons. "I had my daughter, and during that period my marriage broke up, and I was alone. I was staying up at night, and I would go out and work, and I was up with her and maybe getting two or three hours of sleep a day -- it was scary. I just couldn't deal with another minute of it. I was on my way out the window and got caught in the curtain. The maid opened the door at exactly that time. Thank God that lady came because I would be gone today."

Living in New York during the 9/11 tragedy did not help ease her on-and-off depression, however, as Donna explained, "I was a mile or two up the street from where it happened. I was there for months, and it was horrific, and I went through a terrible depression."

Donna points out that she did not turn to drugs or medication, saying, "I didn't want to become dependant on something else and then have another problem, so I was just going through it [the natural way]."

Related: Celebs Offer Donna Summer Condolences Via Twitter

Of the high points in her life, Donna explains, "No question, when you're a singer and you're looking to become successful, it's the moments of success, you know? Singing the Oscar-winning song and having that moment, and winning Grammys and all that. But after you get those things and they're sort of sitting in the room, you're thinking, 'Okay, what's next?' It's like when actors say they won the Oscar, then they didn't get a job for five years, that's somewhat what it feels like internally. And it's like, 'Is that all there is?' And so I think you have to keep setting new goals for yourself."

Donna goes on to say that her next goals after such incredible success were entirely personal -- to have a family and "get on with [my] real life."