Jodie Sweetin Admits Lying About Sobriety in Past
In April 2007, former “Full House” child actress Jodie Sweetin spoke to students at Marquette University about how she overcame drug addiction, trying to inspire them to stay clean and sober themselves. But what the audience didn’t know what that Sweetin had used cocaine moments before going onstage and would use her speaking fee to fund her drug habit.
Michael Inbar writes on Msnbc.com that Sweetin recently appeared on TODAY to discuss her new autobiography, “UnSweetined: A Memoir,” which chronicles her struggles with drug and alcohol addiction that started in 1996 at age 14 and continued even after her daughter Zoie was born in 2008.
“Everybody has to go through things like this; some of us have to do it more publicly,” Sweetin told Matt Lauer. “But I’m just really fortunate that I get to be honest and live my life the way I want to now.”
Sweetin, now 27, portrayed the squeaky-clean middle child Stephanie Tanner on the television show “Full House” for eight years. Sweetin told Lauer that while the show was a wonderful experience, she struggled with separating herself from her character after the show ended.
“Going to school, everybody expected you to be Stephanie Tanner,” Sweetin said. “Establishing a separate entity from Stephanie after all those years, I did everything I could in the beginning to be everything but Stephanie Tanner.”
In 1996, Sweetin drank too much alcohol at “Full House” co-star Candace Cameron’s wedding and passed out in a restroom. In her book, Sweetin said she drank a couple times a week through high school, but began using cocaine and Ecstasy in college. She said she would return home on weekends and sleep off her week of revelry to “put (herself) back together.”
In the book, Sweetin admits to snorting crystal meth in a bathroom stall at the premiere of her “Full House” castmates Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s film “New York Minute” in 2004. She also confessed to traveling through airport security with drugs on her. In a nine-month period from 2006 to 2007, she estimated she spent about $60,000 on drugs.
“I was leading two completely different lives. And that was something I had done almost my whole life, be two different people,” she told Lauer.
Later on TODAY, Sweetin told Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford that her drug use escalated after she married Los Angeles police officer Shaun Holguin at age 20. She was a cop’s wife by day and an addict by night.
“At the time I started doing the hard drugs, the methamphetamine and coke and stuff, it was a lot easier to hide than drinking,” Sweetin told Kotb and Gifford.
“I was trying to be that person that everyone was expecting me to be,” she told Kotb and Gifford of the lecture tours where she would speak about being in recovery. “I felt like a fraud, and a lot of shame went with that. And with all that, came more using, and feeling bad about it, and continuing to do it.”
Sweetin and Holguin divorced in 2006, and Sweetin’s habit escalated to the point where she could no longer hide it. One night in early 2007 she was so high on drugs that friends rushed her to the emergency room, likely saving her life. She then checked into Promises Treatment Centers in Malibu.
After her stay in rehab, Sweetin interviewed about her recovery with People magazine and appeared on television shows. But her struggle wasn’t over. In her book, Sweetin says her story of recovery “was a good one, and it landed me the speaking jobs I needed to keep my career going and the drug money rolling in.”
Sweetin told Lauer that in retrospect, she “wasn’t really in a place at that point in my life to do what it really took to be honest, and to get to a place where what I was saying was actually true.”
In May 2007, Sweetin met future husband Cody Herpin. They married after just two months of dating, and Sweetin soon became pregnant with daughter Zoie. Sweetin cleaned up her act while pregnant, but relapsed just a few months after Zoie’s April 2008 birth. She and Herpin are now separated.
“I had two glasses of wine and drove with (Zoie) in the car,” Sweetin writes in her book. “I not only put myself in danger, but also my daughter, who I loved more than anything. I felt terrible.” Sweetin says she was investigated by child services after admitting driving with Zoie in the car under the influence of alcohol.
Sweetin has also admitted she wasn’t completely clean and sober even as she started writing her autobiography last October. She pinpoints her date of sobriety as Dec. 8, 2008.
“I made some really poor choices,” she told Lauer. “But now I’m almost a year clean and sober and I hope that [Zoie] will never have to see some of the things I did before.”
She also said that writing “UnSweetined” was a catharsis, allowing for “a chance to tell the story the way I wanted to tell it, and get to a place where I was ready to be honest.”