“She would be a lot more affectionate with me if she wasn’t sober,” Tallulah Willis says.
Actress Demi Moore and her three daughters sat down with Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Jones on Red Table Talk and took some time to discuss Moore’s struggles with addiction and how it has impacted her family.
Tallulah Describes The Anxiety She Felt When Demi Wasn’t Sober
The Ghost star began to struggle with substance use in her early 20s and suffered a relapse in her 40s that alarmed her daughters.
“It’s like the sun went down and like, a monster came,” said Tallulah, the youngest of the three. “I remember there’s just the anxiety that would come up in my body when I could sense that her eyes were shutting a little bit more, the way she was speaking. Or she would be a lot more affectionate with me if she wasn’t sober.”
“It was just jarring,” added Rumer, the eldest.
Her Mother’s Overdose
Moore’s experiences with addiction began when she was a young child, long before she took anything herself. Her own mother was addicted to pills. In an interview with Lena Dunham in September, she told a harrowing story about digging pills out of her mom’s throat with her fingers in order to save her from an overdose.
“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,” she said. “Something very deep inside me shifted then, and it never shifted back. My childhood was over.”
Recalling her own childhood, Moore made the decision not to do the same to her daughters, and with their support, dedicated herself to recovery.
“It Was Not The Mom That We Had Grown Up With”
“My daughters offered me an opportunity to start to change the generational pattern,” she told Dunham. “To be able to break the cycles.”
This decision has been a relief to her daughters, who didn’t recognize the person their mother became when she started drinking again.
“It was very weird, and there were moments where it would get angry,” Tallulah said. “I recall being very upset and kind of treating her like a child and speaking to her like a child. It was not the mom that we had grown up with.”
Moore released her memoir, Inside Out, just days after her interview with Dunham. In the book, she reveals how much she struggled with her divorce from her ex-husband Ashton Kutcher and that her self-neglect had a negative impact on her relationship with her daughters.
Thankfully, according to a source that spoke to PEOPLE, their relationship recovered and is now strong, with Moore dedicating herself to making it even better.
“Now, she has a beautiful relationship with all of her daughters,” the source said. “Demi feels bad about the years when she wasn’t healthy. She really tries to make up for it now.