Rod Stewart's Daughter Says Singer Helped Her With Addiction

By Paul Gaita 10/16/18

The music icon's eldest daughter has been sober for two years. 

Rod Stewart

Sarah Streeter, the eldest daughter of British rock legend Rod Stewart, told the UK press that the singer has helped her to overcome the toll taken by addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Streeter, who was born to Stewart when the singer was 17 years old and given up for adoption, remained estranged from the singer until 2007. Stewart, whose son Sean has also struggled with substance use disorder, offered both emotional and financial support to Streeter and introduced her to his family.

The 55-year-old Streeter said that she has not only been sober for two years, but also enjoys a closer relationship with her father, noting, "Now he's just dad to me."

Streeter was born in 1963 to Stewart, who was at the time struggling to make a name in music, and art student Susannah Boffey. "I was too young to know what being a father was all about when Sarah came along," said Stewart in a 2010 interview with the Mirror. "Adoption seemed like the best option."

After spending five years in foster care, Streeter was adopted by Gerald and Evelyn Thubron, and remained unaware of her father's identity until she turned 18.

They met—reluctantly, according to Streeter. Streeter was hesitant to forge a relationship with Stewart. She was also battling addictions to crack, cocaine and alcohol, with frequent bouts of sobriety and relapse.

"Why I'm still here, I don't know," she said. "I carry a huge amount of guilt about what I put people through. The way it affected my family and loved ones was terrible. But I've chosen to talk about it because I think it's important to be honest and to show that even if you hit rock bottom, you can get over it."

When Streeter's adoptive mother passed away in 2007, she reached out again to Stewart, and found that he was receptive and understanding of her situation.

"It's not all new to him, of course," said Streeter, referring to her half-brother Sean's drug issues. "There's no judgment from him at all. I don't talk about it a lot now, but he always asks me if I'm all right."

Streeter revealed that she receives a monetary sum from Stewart each year—an amount that she insists was not requested. "It just happened," she said. "It helps and it came at just the right time. It got us out of debt, which I'd run up because of the drugs."

More significantly, she now enjoys a genuine familial relationship with Stewart, who has introduced her to her eight half-siblings. Streeter said that she understands why he maintained distance from her as a child: "I can see he was in a difficult position while both my parents were still here. I think he didn't want to upset them by encroaching on their territory after all these years."

The closeness they experience now had to be built over time. "He's not just my dad, is he? He's a big star, so of course, that makes it difficult," said Streeter.

But time has brought them together, and Streeter said that she now feels like a true part of Stewart's family. For the singer, their relationship, though complex in its past, is simple in explanation: "She calls me dad and I call her my daughter," he said. "We're doing our best."

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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.