Lucy Hale Opens Up About Struggle with Alcohol and Eating Disorder During “Pretty Little Liars” Fame
Actress Lucy Hale, widely recognized for her role in “Pretty Little Liars,” recently revealed her ongoing battle with alcohol addiction and an eating disorder that was exacerbated during the peak of her fame.
In a candid interview on the “Call Her Daddy” podcast aired on Wednesday, the 34-year-old actress disclosed her early experiences with alcohol, tracing them back to a vacation she took when she was just 12 years old. She recounted, “I remember my very first experience with alcohol was the same as when it ended. I blacked out at 12 years old. I don’t remember what happened, I threw up, I got very sick, and I remember being so distraught when I realized what had happened.”
Hale expressed the persistent sense of shame that accompanied her drinking episodes, explaining, “I remember shame after every experience drinking, because my drinking was never normal. It was very clear I was drinking to escape something, even at a young age.”
As the podcast continued, Hale delved into the relationship between her eating disorder and alcoholism, saying, “I think the eating disorder fueled the alcoholism, and they kind of fueled each other.”
The former “Pretty Little Liars” star noted that her drinking habits became a regular occurrence after she turned 18, but her realization of a problem did not manifest until her early 20s. She shared that she began thinking about alcohol “all the time” and felt uncomfortable in social situations when sober.
During the podcast, Lucy Hale revealed that she secretly attended rehab when she was 23, all while playing a lead role on “Pretty Little Liars.” She emphasized the secrecy surrounding her rehabilitation, saying, “I don’t think anyone on the show knew. That was a pivotal moment in my life.”
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Hale’s path to sobriety was a non-linear one, as she stated, “which is why I didn’t get sober until I was 32.” She explained that she had attempted numerous methods to combat her addiction, including rehab, out-patient treatment, in-patient treatment, therapy, medication, and various other interventions.
The actress also recounted being surrounded by people with similar habits, mentioning a friend who once told her, “Sober people are so boring,” which only added to her reluctance to embrace sobriety.
Lucy Hale’s struggles with alcohol also led her to risky situations, including being “taken advantage of” in sexual encounters and using cocaine. She mentioned having to visit the hospital on several occasions, describing the period as extremely dark and filled with sadness and fear.
In a remarkable turn of events, the “Truth or Dare” star achieved sobriety in 2021, partly attributing it to contracting COVID-19, which compelled her to stay at home and receive medical treatment. Reflecting on her journey, she expressed that being sober for two years now makes her feel “great” and eager to share her story with others, stating, “Being sober is 100% the best thing I’ve ever done for myself, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy.”