Todd Fisher is opening up about his girls — sister Carrie and mother Debbie Reynolds — in a new memoir.
In My Girls: A Lifetime With Carrie and Debbie, Todd details anecdotes about the important women in his life and their final days, in December 2016. He debunks the notion that Reynolds died from a broken heart — rather that she “willed herself” to die so Carrie wouldn’t be alone.
“The common theory about Mom’s passing was that, after losing Carrie, Debbie Reynolds died of a broken heart,” he writes, as excerpted by the Daily Mail. “Take it from the son who was there, who knew her better than anyone else on earth — that’s simply not true. Debbie Reynolds willed herself right off this planet to personally see to it that Carrie would never be alone.”
The Star Wars actress died at age 60 after suffering a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles. The coroner said her death was due to a combination of factors including sleep apnea and “other conditions: atherosclerotic heart disease, drug use.” Reynolds suffered a stroke and died one day after her daughter.
Todd Fisher says that ever since birth, his mother never wanted Carrie to be alone.
“That had been her driving force all of Carrie’s life, including having me so that Carrie wouldn’t be an only child, and it continued to be her driving force when Carrie left,” he says, noting that Reynolds told him “I want to be with Carrie” before she died.
As with any family, there were sibling spats. One of their last disagreements was about a 60th birthday party Reynolds was throwing Carrie against her daughter’s wishes. Todd sided with his mom and told Carrie to return to L.A. from London for the bash. “Typical Todd, doing Mom’s bidding, and to hell with what anyone else wants or feels,” he recounts Carrie saying.
Carrie reluctantly returned to L.A. for the party.
“Finally it was just Carrie and me, alone in the house, after an evening of paying little or no attention to each other. I was surprised to see that she was in tears. ‘I can’t do this,’ she said. ‘I can’t have this tension between us,'” he recalls. “She went on to talk about the fact that a day would come when Mom would be gone, when it would be just the two of us, and we were going to need each other more than we ever had in our lives.”
He adds: “Carrie was my girl, and no matter how much we fought or how pissed off we might get at each other, nothing would or could ever change that. ‘We’re good,’ I said.”
That November 2016 birthday party ended up being the last time he ever saw his sister.
Todd says he knew about Carrie’s substance-abuse struggles throughout her life, even taking her to the emergency room on several occasions from drug overdoses. “She was self-medicating,” he says. “That’s what was keeping her in balance. The idea that, at any moment, she could lose control was always a real threat.”
The book also touches on Carrie’s affair with Harrison Ford. The actress detailed the long-rumored romance in her book The Princess Diarist prior to her death. Ford, 33 at the time, was married to Mary Marquardt and had two children — Carrie was 19. “It was so intense,” she told People. “It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend.”
According to Todd, his mom had no idea about the affair, learning of the news right before Carrie was about to share it with the world. Reynolds urged Carrie to keep the story private — and it is an admission Carrie ended up regretting. After the romance made headlines, Carrie apparently told her mom, “‘You’re right; I shouldn’t have told that story.'”
My Girls: A Lifetime With Carrie and Debbie is out today.
Read more from Yahoo Entertainment: