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Laura Prepon Reveals Her Mother Taught Her Bulimia In New Book: "It Was Our Shared Secret"

Laura Prepon Reveals Her Mother Taught Her Bulimia In New Book: "It Was Our Shared Secret"
March 25, 2020 - 17:53 / Amanda Stanford

Laura Prepon is getting candid, revealing some shocking truths about her childhood. The actress talks in her new book about her journey of healing from body issues as a result of her emotionally abusive mother.

Laura Prepon opens up about traumatic childhood

Laura Prepon is opening up and getting candid about her traumatic childhood, and talks about her journey of self love in her new book You & I, As Mothers.

Laura Prepon attends the "The Girl On The Train" New York Premiere.

“In order to have a real conversation about motherhood, we need to talk about what’s really going on, the stresses, the anxieties, how we were mothered,” Prepon says.

She felt that following the birth of her daughter, Ella in 2017, something was missing from the books she turned to.

“I needed a voice to connect to,” the Orange Is The New Black actress said.

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Becoming that voice meant she had to be honest about the painful truths of her own relationship with her mother.

“My mother taught me bulimia. It started when I was 15 and lasted until my late twenties,” says Prepon.

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“I always thought of myself as this strong, confident woman,” she continued, “but it became a compulsion that would completely debilitate me.”

At 15 years old, Prepon was 5'10, and had a very athletic build. She was told at various modelling castings to lose 25 lbs.

Telling her mother she wanted to try, it became "their shared project".

“My mom started weighing me every morning and taking my measurements,” says Prepon. She recalls how "proud" her mother was of her when she dropped to 105 lbs.

“That’s when she told me, ‘You can have your cake and eat it too,’ ” Prepon remembers. “I knew exactly what she was talking about.”

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“It was a bonding thing we would do together,” she explains. “A shared secret.”

Looking back, Prepon realized her mother believed being thin would help her daughter. “She was bulimic in college,” says Prepon, “and after she lost weight, she met my father. So to her, being thin equaled success.”

“I think she was trying to help me in her own way,” she says.

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With her mother now in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s, she says, “I don’t want to be angry with her, especially now, because I don’t know how much time we have left. I want those moments when she is present to be good.”

Laura Prepon attends IFP's 28th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards

Prepon began to focus on self love, acceptance, good health and nutrition, so that someday she could break the cycle of dysfunction and be a good role model for her children. 

Sharing a 3 year old girl, Ella and a newborn son with actor Ben Foster, she wanted her book to encourage other moms to be truthful about their struggles.