Elizabeth Vargas was "thrilled" when she was hired as an up-and-coming reporter at Good Morning America in the 90's — but she soon learned that the staff felt much differently about her arrival.
"I learned I was not welcome on my first morning there, when I was ushered to a tiny room to do my research and get into hair and makeup," the 54-year-old journalist writes in her new tell-all, Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction. "The rest of the cast were all in the big, bright room down the hall, filled with laughter and preshow bonding."
As she settled into her new position, "unpleasant events" began happening around the newsroom, she claims.
"One morning, someone taped a paper with the word 'b***h' written on it to my chair," the mother of two reveals, "and unflattering stories about me started leaking to the gossip pages."
"I was rattled and defensive. It felt like I was back in third grade."
Horrified by the response, the young Vargas's childhood panic attacks returned.
"I would have a hard time catching my breath and would feel nauseous, terrified I would vomit," she recalls.
After about a year and a half at ABC, the journalist began downing wine to deal with the stress.
Of course, her drinking later spiraled into a serious addiction, landing her in rehab countless times.
Vargas is now in recovery following a disastrous relapse in the summer of 2014.
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