Selma Blair Opens Up About Decades of Alcoholism, Says She Was First Drunk at 7
By Samantha Schnurr
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With the help of a new memoir, Mean Baby, Selma Blair is an open book on the struggles she's faced since adolescence -- including alcoholism.
“My first drunk when I was seven," she confirmed to Savannah Guthrie in a Todayinterview. "I had my first drinks, you know, much younger."
The 49-year-old actress, famous for movies like Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde, has been forthcoming about her battle with multiple sclerosis in recent years. Now, with a new book chronicling her life that is just days away from release, the star is also addressing her longtime reliance on alcohol. As she tells 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."
According to an excerpt published by the magazine, Blair explains in her book that she initially took "quick sips whenever my anxiety would alight."
"I usually barely even got tipsy," she writes. "I became an expert alcoholic, adept at hiding my secret." However, her addiction progressed, spanning from childhood through to college. When Guthrie asked how she managed to function, Blair said, “It’s hard. I don’t know, but maybe it was easier. Maybe I would have never survived without a drink." After a headline-making incident on a plane in 2016, Blair stopped drinking, telling Guthrie that, while you still have to be vigilant about it, the alcoholism is "gone" from her.
The star is also being candid about other trauma she's suffered, including rape, which Blair wrote she "drank to forget."
"I don't know if both of them raped me," she writes in her memoir, recalling the sexual assault during a college spring break trip, per People. "One of them definitely did."
She continues, "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."
In her Today interview, Guthrie also broached the subject of an educator who "violated" Blair. Of this "father figure," she told Guthrie, "Having a personal betrayal of someone that loves you be so inconsiderate of your life path really hurt. It hurt me."
Still, after two suicide attempts she addresses in the book, she's a survivor and forging ahead with MS, something she now knows she's had since at least the age of 23. Blair, mom to 10-year-old son Arthur, shared she's in remission now and, despite some brain damage and other symptoms, she told Guthrie she's "OK with it" and "grateful" to be doing "so much better."
During the Today interview, Blair imparted some words of wisdom -- ones for which she serves as living proof. "We all will come to times where we’re gonna have to fight harder than we think," she told Guthrie, "and I was supported. I was lucky."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.