Selma Blair alleges in her new memoir that she suffered a years-long campaign of career sabotage – all from within her own family.
Selma Blair claims her late father’s girlfriend allegedly attempted to derail her career with nasty letters claiming she was a drug addict.
The actress reveals in her memoir Mean Baby: A Memoir Of Growing Upthat she first went into rehab at age 22. While there, she was prescribed a drug called Trexan for the purpose of curbing her desire to drink, but it came with terrible side effects, leaving her “rageful” and “agitated”. One day during a panic attack, she accosted a nurse, Page Six reports.
“The doctors discontinued the Trexan. Poof, I was normal,” she wrote. “My rage vanished. What I didn’t know at the time was that my father had witnessed this entire episode. He had come to visit me and stood silently in the hallway watching the scene unfold. Later, he would use that episode against me.”
Once out of rehab, Blair began working on the 1998 film Arresting Gena.
“That’s when the letters started coming,” she wrote. “Twenty letters a day arrived via FedEx at the production office of Arresting Gena, all of them written by a mysterious sender. They contained bogus information about me and my ‘violence and addiction’.”
The Cruel Intentions star wrote that the letters continued for the next 18 months, during which time, “I was fired from every job I booked”.
She was then contacted by a detective retained by the talent agency UTA. He told Blair that he’d been hired to protect Drew Barrymore, to whom she was supposedly writing death threats. After weeks spent trailing Blair, the detective realised she wasn’t the culprit, and said he had some information about the letters’ origin.
“He said the letters were being mailed from my father’s office building in Detroit,” Blair wrote. “He gave me a description of the sender that just happened to match my father’s girlfriend at the time, I found out.”
The detective suggested to Blair that she set a trap to find the author of the letters.
She had just secured a screen test for a movie called Father’s Day, and at the suggestion of the detective, told three different stories to three different people.
“I told my ex-boyfriend that I had a screen test against Alyssa Milano,” she wrote. “I told a friend I had a screen test against Alicia Silverstone. I told my father I had a screen test against Drew Barrymore.
“The head of casting at Universal received no fewer than 15 letters saying I was a violent and dangerous person who held a grudge against Drew Barrymore,” Blair wrote. “The casting director showed me and my agent, Jana, the letters.”
The Legally Blonde star wrote that she was devastated and told her father “he was now dead to me”.
“I didn’t speak to him for 12 years, and our relationship, already challenging, never fully recovered.”
Her father Elliot Beitner died in 2012.
Years later Blair finally met Barrymore in person.
“I discovered she’d never truly known the whole story, only that it was a father thing, a messed-up situation,” she said. “I told her I was so, so sorry about the letters she’d received. She hugged me and said, ‘Don’t worry. We all have wild family stuff,’ and her big embrace smoothed out some of those years-old anxieties.”
This story originally appeared on Page Six and is republished here with permission