Demi Moore is opening up about a traumatic experience that shaped her childhood. In a new interview, she recalled the time she revived her mother, Virginia King, after she suffered a drug overdose.
Demi, 52, whose memoir, Inside Out, comes out on September 24, is on the cover of the October issue of Harper’s Bazaar and, in her feature interview, she shared details of the harrowing event.
“The next thing I remember is using my fingers, the small fingers of a child, to dig the pills my mother had tried to swallow out of her mouth while my father held it open and told me what to do,” the actress told the outlet.
For the G.I. Jane star, the overdose was a defining moment of her youth. “Something very deep inside me shifted then, and it never shifted,” she explained. “My childhood was over.”
Virginia’s brush with death only contributed to Demi’s unstable upbringing. Demi moved 30 times while she was still young and her stepdad Danny Guynes died by suicide in 1980.
In the 1980s, the Ghost star experienced her own struggle with alcohol and substance abuse. During her acceptance speech for the woman of the year award at the Peggy Albrecht Friendly House’s 29th Annual Ceremony, she reflected on this period of “self destruction.”
“I feel like there are defining moments in our lives that shape who we are and the direction we go, and early in my career, I was spiraling down a path of real self-destruction, and no matter what successes I had, I just never felt good enough,” she explained.
“I had absolutely no value for myself,” the mom of three continued. “And this self-destructive path, it very quickly … brought me to a real crisis point. And it wasn’t clear at the time the reason — maybe it was divine intervention — but two people who I barely knew stepped up and took a stand for me, and they presented me with an opportunity.”
“In fact, it was more like an ultimatum … unless I was dead, that I better show up,” she added. “They gave me a chance to redirect the course of my life before I destroyed everything. Clearly, they saw more of me than I saw of myself. And I’m so grateful because without that opportunity, without their belief in me, I wouldn’t be standing here today.”