Selma Blair opens up about alcoholism and getting drunk for the first time aged 7

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Photo credit: Frazer Harrison - Getty Images
Photo credit: Frazer Harrison - Getty Images

Actor Selma Blair – best known for starring in a string of romcoms including Legally Blonde, The Sweetest Thing and Cruel Intentions – has shared an insight into her decades-long battle with alcoholism, revealing that she got drunk for the first time at the age of seven.

Speaking to People magazine ahead of the release of her memoir, titled Mean Baby, Selma said, "I don't know if I would've survived childhood without alcoholism." The 49-year-old went on to say that alcohol is "such a problem for a lot of people" because it is "a huge comfort", later explaining that it became her "coping mechanism."

In an excerpt from her upcoming book, which she shared with People, she took a deep-five into how her struggle with alcohol began. "The first time I got drunk it was a revelation," she said, revealing she first drank alcohol – Manischewitz, a brand of kosher wine – during Passover. "Light flooded through me, filling me up with the warmth of God," she recalled of how she felt afterwards. "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."

The actor continued: "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." After her first experience of being drunk, Selma says she avoided getting to that level for a while, instead "just [taking] sips whenever my anxiety would alight. I usually barely even got tipsy. I became an expert alcoholic, adept at hiding my secret."

Photo credit: Steve Granitz - Getty Images
Photo credit: Steve Granitz - Getty Images

But her relationship with alcohol really started to spiral once she reached her teens and twenties, particularly after a traumatic incident that occurred during her college years.

Her memoir will be the first time the romcom star has spoken out publicly about the incident, previously only opening up to her therapist. It's one of the reasons she was keen to write a memoir, discovering the catharsis that came along with writing her truth. "My sense of trauma was bigger than I knew," she noted. "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."

Selma – who opened up about being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018 – has now been sober since 2016 and hopes that by sharing her story, she can help others in recovery. "I'm in a good place," she told People. "I cannot believe all this happened in my life, and I'm still here and I'm okay."

She went on: "I wrote the book for my son . . . and for people trying to find the deepest hole to crawl into until the pain passes."

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