Kirstie Alley Talks Cocaine Addiction on "Celebrity Big Brother"

By Paul Gaita 08/24/18

"I went through the '60s and most of the '70s. I never did drugs. And then I did coke and it was all over for, like four years."

Kirstie Alley

Actress Kirstie Alley spoke frankly about her cocaine addiction while appearing on the UK edition of the popular reality series Celebrity Big Brother.

In a candid conversation with three of her "housemates," Alley discussed her divorce from her first husband, Bob Alley, which she said led to her dependency on the drug, as well as an incident involving cocaine use while babysitting a niece and nephew which she claimed was her motivation for ending that dependency.

Alley, who has often spoken about her past drug use, said that cocaine use "just kills your soul, somehow."

Alley, who is appearing on the 22nd edition of Celebrity Big Brother, told her castmates that she began using cocaine prior to her film and television stardom, when she was living in Wichita, Kansas and was divorced from her first husband, Bob Alley, in the late 1970s.

"I did drugs for about four years," she said. "I went through the '60s and most of the '70s—I never did drugs. And then I did coke and it was all over for, like four years."

Alley added that after using cocaine, she told herself that she would "do this every day for the rest of my life," which prompted Ben Jardine—a UK TV personality known for his appearance on Married At First Sight—to ask if that was how the drug affected those who use it.

Alley noted that while everyone's reaction to cocaine was different, the overall response to the drug was "horrible." She added that after a period of two-and-a-half years of constant use, "it just snagged my soul. It just kills your soul, somehow."

When asked by housemate and television personality Sally Morgan if there was an incident that she would consider her lowest point during her dependency, Alley said that she found herself using cocaine while babysitting her young niece and nephew. 

"I thought, 'My God, I'm [upstairs] snorting coke and then coming down and taking care of these babies. This is horrible,'" said Alley. She called her sister to retrieve her children before facing an unpleasant fact: "I just went, 'You've lost your soul, totally.' I'd stepped over the line. Now the cray [sic] was running me, instead of me running wild."

When asked by Morgan if she'd ever used cocaine again, Alley declared, "No, and I've never wanted to, which is good."

In previous interviews, Alley has said that the end of her first marriage was the launching pad for her cocaine dependency. She told Howard Stern in 2013 that after her divorce from Bob Alley, she began spending time with a friend whom she claimed had a "lot of druggie friends," which led to her first experience with cocaine. 

"I had heard that cocaine made you peppy and happy, and I was sort of depressed because I had gotten a divorce," she told Stern. "So I thought, 'I'm gonna try this.'"

Casual use soon led to dependency and instability; as she told Entertainment Tonight, "I thought I was going to overdose almost every time… I would do so much at a time that I would snort the coke and I would sit there, I would take my pulse, thinking, 'I'm dying, I'm dying, I'm dying.'"

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.