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Jodie Sweetin Admits Driving Drunk with Zoie

10/26/2009 at 02:00 PM ET
Landov

In an explosive new memoir, actress Jodie Sweetin opens up about her past drug abuse and how those addictions put not only her own life in jeopardy, but also the life of her 18-month-old-old daughter Zoie Laurelmae.

The 27-year-old former Full House star — who was adopted as a 9-month-old — points out in unSweetined that her birth mother was also an addict. “I would hear stories about my mom leaving me to go off and party,” she writes. “And for years I was like, ‘F–k her. How could somebody do that to their kid’?”

“When I started seeing my own addiction getting in the way of being a mom, I finally understood: If you’re not in the right place to get sober, you’re not ready to be a mom.”

Jodie goes on to reveal that her “big rock bottom” took the form of driving drunk. “I had two glasses of wine and drove with [Zoie] in the car,” she explains. “I not only put myself in danger, but also my daughter, who I loved more than anything. I felt terrible.”

In December 2008, Jodie says she “got sober for good,” but her relapse has cost her dearly. “I got a call that there was an emergency custody investigation because of my drinking,” she notes before adding,

“From that day forward, I threw myself into going to AA and avoided people who do blow off their coffee tables. We’re working on a custody agreement right now. But life is good. I’m happier than I can remember.”

Zoie is Jodie’s daughter with estranged husband Cody Herpin. unSweetined hits bookstores on November 3rd.

Source: US Weekly

– Missy

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Showing 65 comments

Erika on

Oh boy…at least she admits it, and is seeking help, but I can’t get over how dangerous (and stupid) that is.

Erika on

I forgot to add, I don’t know how much I believe her, that she is fine now. When the baby was first born, she was ‘fine and happy’ as well as when she was pregnant. It’s sad, really.

Darlene on

Waiting for the bashing to begin…

Natasha on

What she did is unacceptable. A baby does not have a say on whether or not they get in a car with a drunk mother. If she wanted to get drunk and drive, that’s one thing. But endangering her daughter, that’s not right. Atleast she realizes what she did is wrong and I’m happy that she’s getting the help that she desperately needs

Lisa on

Wow. Let me start off by saying when I hear Jodie Sweetin, I think of my love for Stephanie Tanner “How Rude!” However, I get chills just reading this article. First off I remember clearly Nicole Richie saying she could never drive drunk after she found out she was pregnant and realized that she could have killed herself, someonelse, or someone could potentially kill her baby through acts of DUI. Addiction is horrible but it is such a selfish, dangerous, and life-threatening thing to drive drunk with your baby in the car. I mean I admire her honesty but driving drunk is unacceptable and deathly dangerous but now putting the people on the ride and your own innocent daughter in danger….that is wrong. I’d like to point out how important it is not to drink, do drugs when alcoholism is in the family. One drink with alcoholism in your famiyl can lead to you becoming an alcoholic like that… (or reliant on drugs etc) She can say all she wants about never doing drugs or drinking but it is way easier said than done. One little set back can cost her her life and potentially other peoples lives. I appreciate her honesty, and I admire her for wanting to turn her life around, but she had to do that before she had a child. I was not here to bash her, I like her, but this is just a subject near and dear to my heart and should not be taken lightly

Karey on

I myself would never drive my kids with 2 glasses of wine in me, but I hardly consider that amount of alcohol to be excessive if you are planning to drive. I guess it all depends on how sensitive you are to alcohol and how your body metabolizes it. Ideally, no one would ever drive with even 1 drink in them . . .

mary on

Wow, that is brave of her to publish that story. I really hope she is better and not in denial.

Someone said two glasses of wine may not be alot. I thought the same thing. I would never ever drive with that much in my body but I have seen a lot of people drive home after 2-3 beers or wine. Then again they were mostly men..

Louise on

Darlene- I think this is one time that a celebrity truly deservings a ‘bashing’. What Jodie did is incredibly irresponsible. She could have killed her daughter, or someone else.
It has been shown that as little as one drink affects your reflexes and driving ability. As wine glasses are now often much bigger than they used to be (175 mls compared to 125mls in the past) 2 glasses could have easily made Jodie unsafe to drive.
I have a friend who was seriously injured by a drunk driver. She lives with the drunk drivers decision to drive drunk everyday- she has a limp and scars on her face to remind her of the drunk driver’s selfish decision to drive while intoxicated.
Sorry to vent but to me there is just no positive spin to this story.

I♥CBB on

I was STUNNED when I read this. She is brave to even put that out there. I hope she is ready for the backlash she may receive by this admission. I too hope for the sake of herself, her daughter, friends, family, etc she is clean and sober. I wish her the best of luck with everything.

Kristine on

I absolutely agree with Karen. I never drink anyways when I would have to be driving with my kids, but if I were to go out with friends for dinner, I might have a drink or 2 to go along with it, and drive home later. I’ve never however had a problem with alcohol, and I know my limits as well as when to stop.

Lady on

This really breaks my heart…I hope she is continuing on her path to sobriety and becoming a better person for the sake of her daughter…& @Lisa that’s all I can think of too

As Stephanie Tanner would say “How Rude”…as funny as that is..still so terribly sad

Carrie Jo on

Addiction is a crazy thing. I got sober January 27th, 2008. I am now pregnant with my first child due January 6th. I am grateful every day that I (with the help of my husband) realized that alcohol was not an option for me. So many people did not believe that i had really put it down for good. But I had too many set backs where I would clean up for awhile, but every time I started up again, I would slide down that slippery slope faster than the time before.

I hope she really does feel like her sobriety is for good and not just for awhile.

computerag on

Here you have an individual who is admittedly an addict and has clearly experienced a lot of pain — you have to, as an addict, be in pain.

All we can really do is wish her well and hope for the best for her and her daughter in the future. Really, is there any point in getting on here and proclaiming your shock and disdain for her irresponsible actions? It’s kind of a given that her behavior was reprehensible.

michelle on

While this is shocking and totally unacceptable, I enourage EVERY mother to remember that studies have shown that talking on a cell phone while driving causes you to be more imparied that if you had two glasses of wine. Please remember this the next time you get behind the wheel. Just because it’s not illegal yet doesn’t mean it doesn’t kill too.

Off my soapbox now…I can’t believe she would publicly admit this information while there is still an open custody dispute. Stupi, stupid, stupid…just all around stupid…and sad.

AE on

Her “rock bottom” was driving after two glasses of wine?! Why do I not believe this? Two glasses of wine and what else?

Sorry to be harsh, but this is rather infuriating. Many, many people would be guilty of addiction, drunk driving, and child abuse if it was simply her “two glasses of wine” standard. I think she is trying to minimize what she has done – and perhaps is not really at terms with her addictions – by equating mostly innocuous behavior with “rock bottom.”

I don’t believe her, and I think she’s manipulative as well – sober or not.

Alice on

2 glasses of wine isn’t as drunk as the image that pops out in our heads when saying driving drunk. But it is definitely still too much to drive, you are not sure how much alcohol is still in your body… and if she says herself that she drove drunk it means she must have felt the effects of it… I hope having talked publicly about it helps her in the way that she can’t pretend there is no issue anymore. Best of luck for the both of them.

Kitty on

Darlene, what is the purpose of your comment? Are you just trying to stir the pot? Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, whether you agree or not.

christina on

“I not only put myself in danger, but also my daughter”

and everyone else who happened to have the misfortune of being on the road at that same time she chose to drive drunk. Jodie is very lucky she did not injure or kill her child or anyone else when she was drunk driving.

martina on

I hope she is doing it the right reasons – and not just to get some publicity and make a quick buck. Sorry, but I find it difficult to trust Jodie this time around.

Ashley on

Getting clean and sober is a process, especially a person like her who has a long history of using drugs and alcohol. She claimed that she was clean, I believe it was 3 yrs. ago, too. It’s scary how addiction passes down, even if she wasn’t raised by her birth mother.

ritter on

I am guessing her 2 glasses were more like the balloon glasses of wine, so they are huge. Most wouldn’t call themselves drunk after 2 glasses, especially someone who was clearly used to partying and drinking a lot. I hope she really is sober now and starys sober for herself and her little girl.

ritter on

^^I also meant to say I agree with you completely AE.

Madison on

I’m going to pass on the ‘is 2 glasses of wine drunk driving’ discussion and say that I’m pretty shocked her lawyers would allow her to come out with this book and all the revelations in it while negotiating a custody arrangement. This info will be in print now forever, she may come to regret it at a later date.

Lola Marie on

I am very glad that drugs and alcohol are not my vices! Those are two very hard addictions to overcome. I feel sorry that this is her cross to bear especially at such a young age.

Angela on

I also agree with AE and don’t believe her about two glasses of wine, unless she had two glasses that were like 20 oz each.

kris on

AE – My thoughts exactly. Rock bottom is the fact that she was out making money talking about how she’d beat her addictions all the while doing drugs. I do hope she is clean and sober now but only time will tell. As is true with any addiction.

New Shoes on

I think Jodie would agree that what she did was unacceptable and stupid. This doesn’t sound like one of those interviews where an actor/comedian tells a “funny” story about being a parent. She’s not making light of her actions. As for how this article relates to her custody dispute, I would imagine that all parties involved already knew about this incident. Hopefully Jodie is on the wagon for good now.

Kaylee on

I have never been “drunk” with just 2 glasses of wine and I am 4’11, 100lbs! But, everyone is different. I hope she keeps it together for her dd.

Me on

Growing up with a mother who was an alcoholic, admitting that you have a problem is the first step towards sobriety. Telling your story to others does help the recovery process, which is why people at AA meetings share their stories all the time. My mother did a lot of stupid things with my brothers and I when we were little, but she finally managed to get help and has been sober for nearly 22 years now.

Yes, what she did was stupid and irresponsible, but she does not deserve to be bashed. She’s had her daughter taken away from her – the toughest lesson to learn about how your actions affect others. She needs support while she is in recovery – negative comments will only harm somebody and won’t do any good. I hope she gets the help she so desperately needs to get clean for herself and for the sake of her daughter. A baby needs her mother.

Allie-Rose on

* shakes head * what can you really say to that? :(

Lissette on

I don’t believe it was just two glasses of wine that made her drunk. Has she settled custody arrangements in her divorce? These admissions obviously won’t help her in that department. I feel for anyone struggling with addictions but I don’t think she’s completely clean yet.

Emily on

I agree wholeheartedly with both computerag and Me.

As much as her actions were irresponsible and dangerous, there’s not much to be gained from hashing over the horror and outrage of what she did. The focus of this article seemed to be of Jodie acknowledging what she did (something which in itself is quite admirable) and taking responsibility for her actions. I strongly feel that this should be the focus, not what she actually did.

My own mother was an alcoholic, who did some terrible things while under the influence – of both just a couple of glasses of wine, and under several bottles. Nothing can change what she did during those times, but there is nothing to be gained from going over and over how terrible her actions were. Rather, our focus is now on her recovery, which has been remarkable since; there are always going to be setbacks and relapses with such addictions (at least Jodie is trying to move through these). Also, the custody orders in place (regarding her parents’ supervision) will at least help to alleviate any risks of danger to her daughter that might arise during any relapse. Nobody is ever perfect, but I know first-hand that the first step to recovery and improvement is admitting your mistakes, and receiving the acceptance and support of others.

What she did wasn’t right, but it’s in the past now and I congratulate Jodie for her sensible, honest and rather courageous step to acknowledge her past and work toward a solution for the future. And hopefully by telling this story, she may be able to inspire others who experience similar addictions to realise how dangerous it can be to themselves, others and their own children.

Liliana on

As far as custody is concerned, I’m sure the court knows the details of this incident and any others like it.

No one knows exactly how much alcohol it takes for Jodie to become intoxicated. I know petite women who handle their alcohol better than grown men. Each person is different. That said, what she did was completely reckless and inexcusable. She put her daughter’s life and the lives of those on the road in danger. A stupid choice, at best.

I wish her nothing but the best of luck in her daily struggle for sobriety. Her daughter deserves the best and that means a mother who is completely focused on the welfare of her child.

UggaMugga.com on

I actually read an excerpt from her book this morning in which she described how she gave an anti-drug speech at Marquette University in Milwaukee (where I live) while high…and then went back to her hotel room and finished her bag of coke.

I’m hopeful she’s turning her life around, but unfortunately, I think anyone would be foolish to wholeheartedly believe she is after reading this: http://bit.ly/L9aF.

shalay on

UggaMomma, I read the same article. I find it pretty disgusting that she profited off of her addiction and “sobriety”, and is now doing the EXACT SAME THING, only saying, “I’m really sober this time.” How are we supposed to believe her? And what is the point of releasing a book SO SOON after all of this? I think she should be focusing on living a clean and healthy life, and raising her daughter. If she wants to write a book, that’s fine, but I think it would make more sense to let a good amount of time pass first. Any addict knows that recovery is a long journey. I would think that it would take years to fully be able to reflect on your addictions and actions, and have a full grasp on your new life and lessons learned. I have trouble believing that she’s come so far so soon.

I also can’t believe that her rock bottom was driving her daughter after two glasses of wine. This woman was addicted to meth and cocaine. Maybe I’m not giving her enough credit, but if she’s the type of person that gives speeches to hundreds of people on clean and sober living, while high, I find it difficult to believe that her real “rock bottom” was drinking two glasses of wine and driving her daughter. She seems extremely dishonest to me. I hope she can get healthy for her and her daughter’s sake.

Susan on

I appreciate her realizing her addiction but two glasses of wine is drunk driving?!? Maybe if she chugged them but seriously, I’d hardly call that drunk driving.

Chris on

What is she’s still not telling the truth about being sober?

Cody on

AE, I was there and you have no idea how accurate you are……….

Lorus on

If she says the two glasses of wine made her drunk then she should feel horrible about driving with her daughter in the car. Drinking and driving is VERY serious. My mother was T-boned on the passenger side of her car by a drunk driver. The paramedics said if someone was sitting in that seat they would have been killed instantly. She had to spend a long time recovering from it and still to this day has trouble with her knees.
That being said I wish more people would think twice about driving with any amount of alcohol in their system. There are PLENTY of people who get behind the wheel after “only” two glasses of wine/beer.

alice jane on

For an addict, any amount of alcohol can be a serious thing. Just because two glasses of wine might not have a huge affect on most people, doesn’t mean it doesn’t on others. 2 glasses of wine is way to much for me to drink and be able to function properly after.

I just hope that Jodie really is doing better and will continue to for Zoie’s sake. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have that dependence on a substance, and I hope I never do. I wish her and her daughter all the best.

Gigohead on

Looks to me her husband has the right ammunition to take the baby for custody. In in NYC and we had two tragic high profile drunk driving cases in which the moms driving drunk led to the deaths of their young passengers. No excuses. I would not trust her with my kid!! I’m not sympathetic sorry..I understand addiction is an illness, but when you make a decision to drive drunk with kids, you are dangerous — endangering the life of a child is a crime!!!

JMO on

Let me start off by saying NOBODY is perfect. Even those who think they would NEVER do something to harm their child will eventually one day find themselves in a situation that they didn’t make the greatest of choices. I do NOT condone Jodie’s behavior and as a child who grew up with an alcoholic father who would have to endure watching my father beat up on my mom for years and years. I made a vow to myself that I would never become what he was. I have stayed true to my vow. I am not saying I never have a drink. But in a month I probably average 3-4 drinks. Drinking is just not for me. Some people are strong enough to never put themselves through what their families did but alcoholism and drugs are a vicious cycle and you have to surround yourself with people that will help break you of it. Thankfully I had that. Perhaps Jodie didn’t. I hope that she gets well. And if a baby can’t open your eyes then nothing will. That’s a gift you don’t get back. So cherish it.

Anna on

“I not only put myself in danger, but also my daughter” What about all the other people on the road?

She still sounds like she doesn’t really realize how stupid she has been.

finais on

As someone who has dealt with addictions herself, I have to agree with shalay. It took several years of sobriety for me to even begin to understand the implications of my actions from when I was drinking and doing drugs. Even though I had been sober for 3-4 years, I couldn’t yet grasp how using had really effected my life. At around the 3-year mark, I finally started to reflect on the past and began to deal properly with the things that had occurred while I was using many years before. Furthermore, it wasn’t really until I had been sober for five years, that I was able to look back on my past actions and think, “wow, I can’t believe I did that,” or “what was I thinking?” I just couldn’t imagine that Jodie is in a place where she can accurately reflect on these things yet. When your past is clouded by substance abuse, it is never completely clear, even years later. But it’s at it’s foggiest when it’s so recent. Recovery is a long, winding journey, and one that takes absolute vigilance and dedication. I hope Jodie is up to it, finally. I just find it difficult to believe that she’s truly ready to reflect on it, yet.

Shelby on

Maybe she’s saying this publicly to help force herself to be more accountable?

emilyc on

I’m not even going to get into this discussion, just want to say that I feel for her and her baby, and that addiction is a horrible disease for all involved…..but anyway, I had no idea that she was adopted…..doesn’t she have siblings who act on “Everybody Loves Raymond”? They look exactly like her, were they all adopted? Anyone know? Just curious…..

Erica on

I hope, for Zoie’s sake, that Jodie is truly sober and not just giving lip service to the idea of sobriety. The story UggaMom commented on is kind of sickening, as is drunk driving with a baby. I’m pulling for Jodie.

On a side note: I grew up watching Full House and ALWAYS thought Stephanie was the funniest and prettiest of the three sisters. I never would’ve guessed her life would take such a turn.

gargoylegurl on

I remember, right after they announced their split, her ex-husband (Cody Herpin)said she had relapsed. I thought he was just trying to tarnish her and gain custody of their daughter. But I guess there was some truth to what he was saying…this makes me sad.

It’s strange that she would admit this behavior before the custody arrangements are final. I’ve heard that taking responsibility for one’s actions is one of the steps of recovery in AA, I’m just not sure I believe she is being totally honest. I would bet it was a lot more than just 2 glasses of wine.

New Shoes on

EmilyC, although they do look similar, Jodie Sweetin is not related to Madilyn, Sawyer, and Sullivan Sweeten from Everybody Loves Raymond.

lisa on

I am so proud of her for getting her life straight. I will also add that many adoptees struggle with extreme self esteem issues which can trigger alcohol and drug dependency. I hope she can find a good counselor who will treat her underlying issues.

Claire on

In CA meth addicts get what I consider excess visitation, meth addicts! She’ll get a slap on the wrist. My ex husband and I are in battle at the courts over his drinking and pot. He even admitted to it and yet he was just granted every other weekend. Judges out here are sick, the whole system is screwed.

Ply on

It doesn’t matter whether or not two glasses of wine makes you drunk. The fact is, if you drink 2 glasses of wine in a short period of time, you are going to be over the legal limit to drive, whether you feel drunk or not. And if you happen to get pulled over when you are over the legal limit and your child is in your car with you, you may lose custody of your child.

J on

So Louise (post 8), you don’t find Jodie’s admitting to this and wanting to better herself a positive spin?

Also Anna (post 43), I think she realizes that she put others in harms way as well and she was focusing on her and her baby for the moment.

J on

I took the two glasses of wine comment to mean that she realized that she was drinking and driving with her baby, even though it wasn’t the largest amount of alcohol in her system it still disgusted her enough to want to get better.

Maybe she had her two glasses, drove off and then looked at those little baby eyes and realized that she needed help badly, we don’t know. She never stated that she was bombed out of her gourd, some of you need to chill.

Hea on

I do not in any way think this is a small matter. Where I live, she would loose her license if she was stopped and tested.

I do, however, doubt that she was driving DRUNK after two glasses of wine. Either she’s lying about the amount or CBB needs to change it into “driving under influence” or something. People will think she wasn’t lucid at all and we don’t know that.

ritter on

I remember reading about this moment a while back. She or Cody said she left the house with Zoie and drove with her when she shouldn’t have, and that he was going to try to use this against her. Cody knows the truth of how messed up she was at that time. She probably insisted to him that she’d had just 2 glasses of wine, and he probably knows that wasn’t the truth. It is VERY hard to believe that this would be her rock bottom. She was a drug addict and relapsed, so this hardly seems a rock bottom if it were truly 2 glasses of wine. I’m not saying 2 glasses and driving is ok, I’m justsaying she still isn’t being honest. She didn’t have to say any of this or publish a book right now. It seems too soon for her.

Rebecca on

What I hear, “Blah, blah, blah, I’m broke, need to pay lawyers, no acting jobs on the horizon, blah, blah, blah.”

Julie on

Um, just so you all know, two glasses of wine can VERY easily get a person to the legally drunk BAC of .08. So, while you may not feel drunk in the basic sense of the word, you very well are drunk enough to be arrested. I’m really surprised you are all arguing against her assertment of being drunk.

Jessica on

AE, I totally agree. I also think she needs a little more time than a few months to claim she’s completely over her addictions. Also, so when Cody was claiming all this was going on and that he wanted the baby away from her, she was lying saying she was sober, and there she was doing drugs? Not someone I’d trust my child around. I wish Cody and Zoie the best. I’ve never been an addict, but I know how hard it is to deal with one.

dearling on

Rock bottom does not mean that she had to be drunk. Each addict’s bottom is different from another’s. RB is about what that FEELING of being at your worst is. She could have hit rock bottom with only a SIP of wine; it’s about HER perception of it.

Good for her for owning her (bad) decision and attempting to make amends. At least now, if Zoie looks this all up later, she will see her mother taking responsibility and working through her recovery (and steps, if that’s her particular recovery path).

Jessica on

3 out of every 10 people will be in a car accident involving alcohol. Ugh, I feel the same way about cell phones. If I see another woman driving recklessly because she’s blabbing away on her phone I’m going to flip. When will people get it through their thick skulls that their stupidity coupled with their obnoxiously large SUV’s can kill people. Sorry, but my children’s lives are more important that finding out what your husband wants from McDonalds…Sorry rant over..drive safely :)

christina on

Tracey Gold was arrested for drunk driving after she injured her husband and two of her children in a traffic accident and claimed she’d only had 1 glass of wine.

Later, on Oprah, she admitted that her “one” glass of wine had been “topped up” repeatedly before it reached the bottom, so she really had no idea exactly how much alcohol she’d consumed. She said she felt buzzed, but okay to drive. Her BAC was over the legal limit.

Two glasses of wine can definitely have an affect on someone who has abstained from alcohol for a period of time, especially if they are consumed in rapid succession, if consumed on an empty stomach, and especially if the amount poured is not the standard serving size of 5 oz. Many wine glasses hold much more than that 5 oz(the wine glasses we got as a wedding gift hold 12 oz. when filled) and people do frequently top up glasses, so really no one knows exactly how much wine Jodie consumed.

There is a PSA that airs in my town now that states “Buzzed driving IS drunk driving”.

Hea on

Julie – It’s not Jodies assertment, it’s CBB’s. And I find it hard to believe that an “experienced” addict such as Jodie would be drunk after two glasses of wine. I do not think it was OK for her to drive because of it, but I think it might be misleading to say that she was drunk. Not that I really care, it’s bad either way.

Terri on

I wish her well in fighting her addiction. It won’t be easy, but for her family’s sake I hope that she wins out.

concerned parent on

- Only a small minority of adults in this country can truthfully state they’ve never driven after having 2 drinks. Good for her for recognizing the danger signs and getting help.

– Jodi needs to find out the truth about her original family members and hopefully meet them. It’s likely that she was lied to about at least some of the details, as happens to most adoptees. When she sees that her original family are human beings, just like anyone else, she can let go of the idea that she’s got bad blood in her.

– I hope her adoptive parents are ashamed of what they had her doing during her childhood. They should have raised her, not farmed her out for money.

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