Chiara de Blasio Admits to "Huge" Problem with Substance Abuse, Depression

Chiara de Blasio in the video released on Christmas Eve
Chiara de Blasio in the video released on Christmas Eve

In a professionally edited video delivered to reporters inboxes on Tuesday, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's daughter admits to abusing alcohol and drugs to cope with severe depression, or, in the parlance of the production team, Chiara "tells her story and opens up about substance abuse."

The slick video, with its soft piano and statistics ("28% of Americans drink at levels that put them at risk for alcohol dependence") looks and sounds more like a public service announcement than anything else.

Among other things, Chiara admits:

  • She had "clinical depression" for her "entire adolescence."
  • The drinking and drugs, she says, "didn't start out as a huge thing for me, but then it became a really huge thing for me."
  • Chiara, who is a sophomore at Santa Clara University near San Jose, California "didn't do the proper mental and emotional work to prepare" for college.
  • She smoked weed and drank, and struggled to quit either on her own.
  • She was admitted to an out-patient treatment center in New York where she participated in group therapy to treat her depression and anxiety.
  • Her mother Chirlane de Blasio helped her recover. Her dad was helpful too, she adds, "but obviously, he was really busy."

Here's Chiara in her own words:

So... why now? Is there a bombshell Chiara story out there the de Blasios were trying to preempt, or did the Transition 2013 team identify Christmas Eve as the right day for a pre-inaugural news dump? If you know the answer, email me.

Send story tips to the author, Tessa Stuart

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