Selma Blair has opened up about how she tried to kill herself in college after her boyfriend broke up with her, saying she swallowed a bottle of Tylenol and chased it with tequila while hiding in his closet.
The 49-year-old actress has detailed her painful past and her decades-long struggle with alcoholism in her new book, Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up, which was published on Tuesday.
In a profile for Elle, Blair recalled her early romantic relationships, including the tragic death of her first-ever boyfriend Bradley Bluestone, whom she met at Hillel Day School, a Jewish day school in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Selma Blair, 49, has opened up about her painful past and how she tried to kill herself after a breakup in her new book, Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up
In a profile for Elle, Blair (pictured at her high school graduation) recalled how she fell for her physical education horse trainer, Todd, when she was a student at Kalamazoo College
After Todd broke up with her, she waited until he was asleep and sat in his closet. She tried taking her own life by swallowing a bottle of Tylenol and chasing it with tequila
Blair had known Bluestone since the sixth grade and described him as being ‘the Brad Pitt of Hillel Day School.’ They dated on and off for years.
She was a senior at Cranbrook High School, a preparatory school in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, when she found out he had died in his college dorm room.
The actress said she never learned the cause of his death, explaining that ‘his parents couldn’t bear to put a label on what had happened to their son.’ She only knows that his best friend from Hillel was the one who found him.
When Blair’s mother, Molly Beitner, saw her sobbing the night after the funeral, she told her: ‘You will never get over this.’
As a student at Kalamazoo College, she briefly dated a man she referred to as Jason K. He tried to help her out by typing out a list of all the things he felt she needed to work on, titling it ‘How to Fix Blair.’ At the time, she thought he was a ‘catch.’
Blair soon moved on with her physical education horse trainer, Todd, but she didn’t know how to handle the end of their relationship. After he broke up with her, she waited until he was asleep and went into his closet.
In a panic, she woke up Todd and explained what she had done. His mother lived upstairs, and she was the one who called poison control and took her to the hospital
Blair had promised her mother (pictured) she’d tell her if life became too unbearable for her. When she revealed she tried to kill herself, her mother told her she was dead to her
She tried taking her own life by swallowing a bottle of Tylenol and chasing it with tequila, but she changed her mind right before she was about to pass out.
In a panic, she woke up Todd and explained what she had done. His mother lived upstairs, and she was the one who called poison control and took her to the hospital.
Blair’s memoir was published on Tuesday
Blair said she had promised her mother as a child that she would tell her if life became unbearable for her. When she revealed that she tried to kill herself, she expected words of wisdom. Instead, her mother told her she was dead to her.
‘It’s the worst thing she did to me. I know I broke her trust,’ she told Elle of her late mother, who died in 2020.
‘I had tried to kill myself — even if it was only for ten minutes. As outlandish and critical as she was, she would never get over one of us dying, especially by our own hand. I was dead to her for two years — either as punishment or perhaps she was bracing herself for the next time.’
Blair’s memoir also touches upon her struggles with alcoholism, which started when she was just a child.
In an excerpt obtained by People, she described the first time she got drunk as a ‘revelation, saying the effects of alcohol initially felt like the ‘warmth of God’ filling her up.
It was Passover, a Jewish holiday in which drinking wine is a big part of the ceremonial dinner, called a Seder.
The first time the actress (pictured as a child) got drunk was on the Jewish holiday of Passover. Her parents weren’t paying attention to how much Manischewitz wine she drank
After that, Blair (seen bottom left as a child) usually wouldn’t drink to get drunk, but would have ‘quick sips whenever my anxiety would alight,’ making her barely tipsy
‘Maybe even the first few years for me because I did start really young with that as a comfort, as my coping mechanism,’ Blair (seen left as a child) said
She had been allowed small sips of Manischewitz wine at her family’s Seders for years, but she got carried away the year she was seven.
Because ‘no one was paying attention to my consumption level,’ she drank enough Manischewitz to get more than a buzz.
‘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,’ she recalled.
After that, she usually wouldn’t drink to get drunk, but would have ‘quick sips whenever my anxiety would alight,’ making her barely tipsy.
‘I became an expert alcoholic, adept at hiding my secret,’ she wrote.
‘It was hard. I don’t know. But maybe it was easier. Maybe I never would have survived without a drink,’ she told Savannah Guthrie on the Today show last Wednesday.
Blair (pictured with her friend Eddie Alterman) in 1986 met her first-ever boyfriend, Bradley Bluestone, at Hillel Day School, a Jewish day school in Farmington Hills, Michigan
Blair (pictured with her friend Marcus Evangelista in 1987) was a senior in high school when she learned that Bluestone had died in his college dorm room
In college, her alcohol abuse worsened, and on one spring break trip, at least one man raped her. She is pictured during her teenage years
Blair continued to drink throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school.
‘I don’t know if I would’ve survived childhood without alcoholism,’ she told People. ‘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,’ she said.
In college, her alcohol abuse worsened — and left her vulnerable to predators. On more than one occasion, she was too drunk to fight off men who raped her.
‘I have been raped, multiple times, because I was too drunk to say the words “Please. Stop,”‘ she said.
During one spring break trip, after a day of binge-drinking, she said that she was raped by at least one man.
‘I don’t know if both of them raped me. One of them definitely did,’ she wrote.
Blair described the first time she got drunk as a ‘revelation,’ saying the effects of alcohol initially felt like the ‘warmth of God’ filling her up
‘I became an expert alcoholic, adept at hiding my secret,’ she said
‘The desire to drink as much as I could, as often as I could, stayed with me and did not let go for more than 20 years,’ Blair (pictured in Cruel Intentions) said
‘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,’ she said. ‘Only that one time was violent. I came out of each event quiet and ashamed.’
Blair continued to drink into early adulthood — and then, it was in part to cope with her trauma.
‘These were the things I drank to forget. I didn’t drink for attention: I drank to disappear,’ she said. ‘You bury it. You really do. It’s a big thing to have these things happen,’ she said on Today. ‘And to hold that shame in yourself.’
‘The desire to drink as much as I could, as often as I could, stayed with me and did not let go for more than 20 years.’
On two occasions, she said, she tried to take her own life.
Things finally changed for her after a high-profile incident in 2016, when she became intoxicated and passed out on a plane in front of her four-year-old son.
Blair was flying to Los Angeles from Cancun, Mexico, when, according to TMZ, she started crying and complaining about a man abusing her.
Things finally changed for her after a high-profile incident in 2016, when she became intoxicated and passed out on a plane in front of her four-year-old son
‘The thing that made me really stop drinking was that I could have died on that plane,’ she said on the Today show. ‘I mean, now that I was a mother, it just changed everything’
The pilot called ahead to Los Angeles International Airport to report that a passenger was mixing medication with alcohol, and Blair was reportedly carried from the plane on a stretcher.
‘The thing that made me really stop drinking was that I could have died on that plane,’ she said on the Today show. ‘I mean, now that I was a mother, it just changed everything.’
Blair has been sober since 2016, and she has worked on her trauma with a therapist.
The actress, who has also spoken candidly about having multiple sclerosis, said she also found it helpful to write about it in her memoir.
The new memoir also delves into her battle with MS, and she said on Today this morning that she realizes now there were ‘so many things that were indicative of MS’ earlier in her life.
‘I do know for sure I had it by the age of 23,’ she said. ‘It was definitely there for so long.’
Blair teased a few details when she announced her memoir on Instagram in December, writing: ‘Bit by scrap by journal pages and letters, I wrote my first book: Mean Baby.’
The actress, who has also spoken candidly about having multiple sclerosis, said she found it helpful to write about it in her memoir
The new memoir delves into her battle with MS, and she said she realizes now there were ‘so many things that were indicative of MS’ earlier in her life
She went on to explain the meaning behind the title, saying it was inspired by how she scared off the older children in her neighborhood.
‘My mother always laughed when retelling the story of how the older neighborhood kids ran from our long ranch house at the end of the cul de sac. “Don’t go in there!!!” Was the shocked cry. “The Beitner’s have a mean baby.” I was proud I could send older kids scrambling never to visit again,’ she said.
‘I lived up to my name. And then I grew up, grieved a life I felt a stranger in, and then I started to change. I had a child of my own. I floundered and had small but major successes. And I kept writing. Until my hands wouldn’t cooperate. And I was diagnosed with MS. Finally.
‘After the stem cell transplant I wanted to remember what I turned away from thinking about. My beloved mother died, and with fresh marrow recolonizing my cells, I have been given a new life,’ she continued.
‘This is the maiden voyage for me. But it was through the support of my loves on here (Instagram) who have encouraged me to keep moving even in suspended grief, along with great recovery.
‘So this is what I wrote. On scraps of paper. On my phone. Sent to my dear agent who held space while I wrote despite the fog in my brain. This is personal. It’s my story and intended with love. Mostly.
‘Mean Baby might have turned her gaze on a couple unsatisfactory outcomes. But truly.
‘Without you I would have not been able to appreciate how even the meanest baby grows up. Thank you for being on this journey with me. It has been the most remarkable time. A survival course in acceptance. I recommend we all write our recollections. Especially at a time when seeing the words, even, is difficult.’