In a fiery video Monday night, Drew Barrymore called out media outlets like Fox News that misrepresented comments she made during a recent interview, in order to falsely claim that she wished her mother dead.
“You know what, to all you tabloids out there, you have been f—ing with my life since I was 13 years old. I have never said that I wished my mother was dead. How dare you put those words in my mouth,” the actress and talk show host said in the clip, posted to her Instagram account.
“I have been vulnerable and tried to figure out a very difficult, painful relationship while admitting it is difficult to do while a parent is alive, and that, for those of us that have to figure this out in real time, ‘cannot wait,’ as in they cannot wait for the time that the parent is dead,” Barrymore elaborated.
“Do not twist my words around or ever say that I wished my mother was dead. I have never said that, I never would, and in fact, I go on to say that I wish that I never have to live an existence where I would wish that on someone. Because that is sick,” she concluded.
In an interview with Vulture published on Monday, Barrymore opened up about her struggle to come to terms with her childhood and with the abuse and neglect she experienced growing up, particularly from her mother, Jaid Barrymore. Famously, Barrymore, who rocketed to fame as a 7-year-old in “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” was partied alongside her mother while she was in elementary school. She developed a drug addiction and entered treatment when she was 13; she was legally emancipated from her mother the next year.
After speaking of fellow former child star Jennette McCurdy of “iCarly” —who wrote a book about her own abusive mother, “I’m Glad My Mom Died” — as well as Brooke Shields, Barrymore told Vulture’s E. Alex Jung, “All their moms are gone, and my mom’s not.”
Referring to the fact that the other women came to terms with their own struggles after their mothers died, she said, “I don’t have that luxury… I cannot wait. I don’t want to live in a state where I wish someone to be gone sooner than they’re meant to be so I can grow. I actually want her to be happy and thrive and be healthy. But I have to f—ing grow in spite of her being on this planet.”
Later in the same interview, she described her complex feelings about her mother and about speaking openly about that history, saying: “I dared to say it, and I didn’t feel good. I do care. I’ll never not care. I don’t know if I’ve ever known how to fully guard, close off, not feel, build the wall up.”
The “Charlie’s Angels” star texted Jung, saying, “I was really excited I could tell you I’ve done some serious work and I do feel different. I forgive my mom. I forgive my dad. I’ve never forgiven myself, but I’d like to and I’m ready to.” Her father was John Drew Barrymore, who is described in the article as “an abusive drunk.”
Barrymore said she’s still grappling with being in the spotlight at such a young age. “I’ve been a circus bear my whole life,” she said. “I swear to God, if the ringmaster left the tent, I would become the ringmaster and start, like, flagellating myself.”
After the interview was published, Fox News published an article about it with the headline, “Drew Barrymore ‘cannot wait’ until her mom is gone, says she can’t ‘grow’ while she is ‘on this planet’” which of course conveys the exact opposite of what Barrymore said.