Laura Prepon Says She Was Taught How to Be Bulimic by Her Mother
By Antoinette Bueno
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
Laura Prepon is opening up about struggling with an eating disorder for more than a decade, which she says she shared with her mother, Marjorie.
The 40-year-old actress talks about her upcoming book, You & I, as Mothers, in a new interview with People, in which she discusses her battle with bulimia. Prepon says her mother "taught" her bulimia, which started when the former That '70s Show star was 15 years old and lasted until she was in her late twenties.
Prepon says it all started when she went to an open casting at a modeling agency and was told to lose 25 pounds. Prepon, who describes herself at the time as "a healthy athletic kid," decided to try to lose the weight, which became her and her mother's shared interest. At one point, the actress, who's 5'10," went down to 105 pounds.
"My mom started weighing me every morning and taking my measurements," she says. "That's when she told me, 'You can have your cake and eat it too.' I knew exactly what she was talking about."
"It was a bonding thing we would do together," she continues, adding that she felt her mother was "proud" of her when she lost weight. "A shared secret."
She says her mom was actually bulimic herself in college and associated being skinny to success since she met Prepon's father after she lost the weight.
"I think she was trying to help me in her own way," she shares.
The Orange Is the New Black star says she now doesn't want to have any resentment toward her mother, especially given that Marjorie now suffers from Alzheimer's. Prepon is also now a mother herself, sharing two kids with her husband, Ben Foster -- 3-year-old daughter Ella, and a son they welcomed in late February.
"Healing meant learning about my own body, especially when I wanted to have children," she says about overcoming her eating disorder.
When ET spoke with Prepon in 2016, she acknowledged the struggles of constantly being in the spotlight during filming That '70s Show. Prepon was only 18 years old when the show debuted in 1998, and some jokes in the show focused on her character, Donna, being so much bigger than Mila Kunis' character, Jackie.
"There were so many nights where I would wake up in the middle of the night like, 'Oh my God! I have to be on camera tomorrow, and I'm so stressed out. How do I lose 10 pounds in eight hours?'" she shared.