‘Curly Sue’ Opens Up About Her Struggle with Addiction

Last updated on November 4th, 2019

As it stands today, no one really falls to the floor in shock and awe after learning another former child actor has run off the rails. Tales of child actor debauchery back in the 1970s took the public by surprise, especially when the stories detailed the drug and alcohol use of household names like Danny Bonaduce.

Fast-forward to 2014 and things are completely different; it’s a rarity for tabloids to go to print without a front-page story centering on some young child actor gone wild. Cases in point: Amanda Bynes, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Macaulay Culkin, or Miley Cyrus. But every now and then, a former child actor blindsides the public by coming clean about his or her struggle with addiction. That’s certainly the case with Curly Sue star Ali Porter.

In an honest and unapologetic blog post on the website Lil’ Mamas, Porter bravely admitted that she struggled with alcoholism and addiction.

“Hi, I’m Ali, and I’m an alcoholic,” the Curly Sue star wrote. “Yup, bet you didn’t see that one coming. Or, because you know that I’m a former child star, you totally did. Anyway, it’s the truth. I’ve been sober since Oct 28th, 2007 and I haven’t touched a drink or a drug since.”

Yup, bet you didn’t see that one coming. Or, because you know that I’m a former child star, you totally did.-Ali Porter

Porter’s admission will likely surprise a large portion of the public. After all, we never saw pictures of the young actress stumbling out of nightclubs. She wasn’t caught puking in alleyways or arrested for multiple DUIs. Instead, Porter suffered with her demons much like a “normal” person does – at home behind closed doors. The fact that she was a former doe-eyed child actor is almost a secondary characteristic, proving yet again that addiction never discriminates.

Curly Sue Turns a Corner

Porter struggled with her addiction for several years before hitting rock bottom. Admittedly “miserable and overwhelmed with life,” she came to the realization that something had to give. Like most addicts, she felt the heavy weight of depression, along with constant waves of anger and fright. Porter was an unstable mess. But even in that haze, she knew it was time for a change.

“So, I did what every good user does and I prayed to a god I had never believed in… and then called my mom,” she wrote. “Days later I was off to treatment, just like that. For the next four years I went to meetings, worked the steps, got a sponsor, found a god of my own understanding, prayed, meditated and basically grew up. Growing pains were inevitable, I felt them often but I continued on the path because unlike my old ways, this way was working.”

Life After Treatment

While former child stars like Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes have continued to slip in and out of active addiction, Porter stayed the sober course. After going through treatment and racking up multiple months of sobriety, her life really started to click. She married her longtime boyfriend Brian Autenrieth in 2012 and had two kids shortly thereafter.

“I’m sure that someday my kids will ask me why I don’t drink and my answer will be simple: ‘I never want to lose myself and not be able to find you.'”

Related: 14 Famous Child Stars Who Battled Addiction and Alcoholism

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