Life wasn’t always all glitz and glamour for Joely Fisher.
The 50-year-old, whose father was legendary singer Eddie Fisher, said addiction has plagued one of Hollywood’s most famous families for years. She's sharing her story in a new memoir titled “Growing Up Fisher.”
“My first experience with drug use was as a toddler,” the singer and actress wrote in the book, which was excerpted by People Magazine Wednesday. “I had a baby’s-eye view of my own father tying off, prepping a needle, and injecting drugs into his veins. I was propped up in an inappropriate proximity to My Papa.”
Eddie struggled with addiction for almost four decades before he got clean with the help of his fifth wife Betty Lin. However, Fisher remembered a parent who couldn’t give up his vices.
According to Joely, Eddie married her mother, actress Connie Stevens, back in 1967, but it was far from an epic romance. The pair had a “tumultuous” beginning to their relationship and they did not tie the knot until Connie became pregnant with Joely’s younger sister Tricia Leigh, who is two years her junior.
“All those magazines talked about Eddie as a cheater, a drug addict,” explained Joely. “Connie came home one day and found Eddie in bed with two Swedish girls. As she tells it, she left – in her sequined gown – with a baby on each hip and a diaper bag slug over her shoulder. She left Eddie Fisher behind and started to create what would be our family.”
Joely didn't have a relationship with her father until she was well in her teens. And when she ultimately pursued her own career in Hollywood, she refused to ask her famous parents for help. But sometimes, she would let the occasional fun fact slip.
“Sometimes I hid my family connections,” wrote Joely. “And when I didn’t feel I was enough: ‘My mom had an affair with Elvis.'”
Joely's half-sister Carrie Fisher also dealt with drug woes and suffered from bipolar disorder.
Carrie died at age 60 in 2016 after having a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles. The Los Angeles County coroner’s office revealed earlier this year the “Star Wars” actress had cocaine, methadone, ethanol and opiates in her system at the time of her death.
Joely was also faced with personal woes.
“In 2004, I went on a two-night bender,” recalled Joely. “I called Carrie from New York at three, four in the morning, because I knew I could. ‘Carrie… I think I’m in trouble.’ She was the only one I could talk to who wouldn’t judge me, who knew the experience. One junkie to another.”
Despite the family tragedy, Joely is in a better place these days. She’s been married to husband Christopher Duddy for nearly 21 years and has five children. Joely credited her family for helping her cope over the years.
“I did have a false bravado with drugs, and I found my adult female body and person didn’t need that,” she told People Magazine. “[Once I was] a mother I was like, ‘I certainly don’t want to be not present for them.’ I feel like I’m alive, in part, because I’ve looked at what it has done to the rest of my family.”