“Family is family but sometimes they hurt you. They don’t mean to but they can.” These are words spoken by a woman who, from a young age, had very few and very stark options in the people who surrounded her.
Former US pop singer Tiffany Darwish, now appearing on I’m a Celebrity… Get me Out of Here!, spoke of being forced to file for emancipation from her mother at 16. She said her mum had problems with alcohol and was incapable of managing her career.
When Darwish left the apartment where her mother and sisters were living in Los Angeles, the police department declared her a runaway and released an alert to the public.
Darwish, who rose to fame rapidly in 1987 following the release of an album and a nationwide tour of shopping malls, was 16 and living with her grandmother awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision regarding her emancipation.
She refused to take interviews at the time but on Tuesday night, speaking on I’m a Celebrity… Get me Out of Here!, the 46-year-old said the media made it seem as if “I hated her”.
“My mum was trying to get sober, and I’m having to record and being told I had to make a choice at 14 or 15. The choice was: you either be like them or cut them loose,” Darwish said on the show. “All I said was, ‘I want to go live with my grandma’. But my mum depended on me and wouldn’t let me go. So I had to go to court.”
“It came out that I hated her… I was getting too big for my britches, and then the alcoholism came out, too. It was not my intention, it was a mess.”
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In the end, the court ruled against the 16-year-old’s petition for emancipation, denying Darwish’s claims that her mother was hindering her career. She was, however, permitted to live with her grandmother full-time.
Now looking back, Darwish appears to have empathy for her mother and forgiveness for the dark shadow cast upon her adolescence and rise to fame.
“You know, my mum was an alcoholic. She didn’t know how to speak up for herself,” Darwish said. “She got her kids taken away. My sisters were taken away. She had to work to get them back.