Alexa Ray Joel, the 24-year-old singer/songwriter daughter of piano man Billy Joel and supermodel Christie Brinkley, is breaking her silence about a well-publicized incident last year in which she was hospitalized after taking a dozen homeopathic aspirin pills, saying it was not, as widely reported, a suicide attempt.
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The second-generation musician sat down with ABC News for a tell-all interview that will is being broadcast in part on Good Morning America this week and in its entirety on Friday’s 20/20. Joel said that prior to the December 5, 2009 incident, she had been depressed after a breakup with her longtime beau, Jimmy Riot, and the upcoming holiday season without him.
“I was genuinely, so distraught, and in so much pain,” Joel said. “It was near the holidays. I was upset. I don’t want to like call and bother anyone with this anymore, ’cause I’m so sick of this pain, let me just, go to sleep.”
She then took the pills, of which she said, “ended up making me feel kind of sick, and then I panicked and I was just not thinking clearly. It kind of bothers me, that the press calls this an overdose. And I take full responsibility for what I’ve done. But at the same time, I wasn’t trying to kill myself. I have a flair for the dramatic, OK, I’m an artist. I’m a performer. Did I actually want to die? Absolutely not. I was not suicidal.”
She said her parents were key in helping her overcome the blues.
“I knew with my mom that she was feeling the pain I was going through,” Joel said. “I mean she’s just such a compassionate, empathetic woman. And she’s so emotional, like me. Overly emotional. And so she was feeling the trauma as I was feeling it, and then as I was feeling better she was feeling it, so she was living it with me.
And as for her father?
“He has such perspective, he was like, ‘You got to see outside of this. You’re an intelligent, talented, beautiful woman.’ He just would build me up so high, so, I — I have a really good mix with the two,” she said.
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