Selma Blair speaks candidly about her battle with alcoholism in a new interview with People.
The actress, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018, is set to release her tell-all new memoir Mean Baby on May 17.
She explains how her alcohol addiction started when she was just seven years old.
“I don’t know if I would’ve survived childhood without alcoholism,” Blair tells the magazine. “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 excerpt from Mean Baby, Blair 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.”
The actress says that when she first started drinking, she did not get drunk, “just quick sips whenever my anxiety would alight. I usually barely even got tipsy. I became an expert alcoholic, adept at hiding my secret.”
She shares how her alcohol abuse got worse in her teens and 20s, opening up about one horrific incident on a college spring break trip where she was raped after a day of binge-drinking.
“I don’t know if both of them raped me. One of them definitely did,” she explains. “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.”
Blair, who says she only spoke about the assault to a therapist before writing her book, shares: “Writing that stopped me dead in my tracks.
“My sense of trauma was bigger than I knew. I did not realize 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, who has been sober since 2016, says of her memoir: “It’s a lot. I wrote the book for my son… and for people trying to find the deepest hole to crawl into until the pain passes.”
“I’m in a good place,” Blair says of what the future holds. “I cannot believe all this happened in my life, and I’m still here and I’m okay.”
Blair also talks to the publication about a now ex-boyfriend attacking her at her home in February. She was taken to hospital and a 5-day protective order obtained by the Los Angeles Police Department was placed against him.
Blair was then granted a restraining order against her ex in March.
“It was the most shocking thing,” she shares. “After I’d finished the book, I honestly thought, ‘Well, that’s the dramatic portion of my life. That’s done.’ He was charged with a felony. I look forward to it being behind me.”