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Mary J. Blige Opens Up About Alcoholism, Childhood Molestation

Singer speaks candidly in new episode of 'Behind the Music'

July 26, 2011 8:20 AM ET
Mary J. Blige
Mary J. Blige
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Image

Mary J. Blige is a happily married Grammy winner now, but things haven't come easy for the 40-year-old singer-songwriter.

In an episode of Behind the Music that aired Sunday on VH1, Blige opens up about her struggle with alcoholism and the childhood molestation that haunted her for years. 

PHOTOS: Stars who survived abuse

"When I was five years old I was molested," she says. "I remember feeling, literally, right before it happened, I just could not believe that this person was going to do this to me. That thing followed me all my life. The shame of thinking my molestation was my fault. It led me to believe I wasn't worth anything." 

PHOTOS: Celebrities who went to rehab

Blige also speaks out about her struggle with alcoholism. "It was bigger than me, and it was definitely going to kill me. So I was like, this is it, and let's go. I remember sitting on my bed. I swear, I don't know what death feels like, but I felt like my spirit was trying to leave my body. 

PHOTOS: Stars who mellowed out

The Rock of Ages star says it was her husband, Kendu Isaacs, who inspired her to get sober. "I stopped drinking," she says. "It was will power. It was prayer. It was really hard. But, I care so much about him, I didn't want to be just this alcoholic burden on him. He doesn't deserve for me to be some, you know, slum-bucket alcoholic, and so I took responsibility and I cleaned up, as much as I could. But it was hard."

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