Celebs

Michelle Pfeiffer reveals she was once in a 'very controlling' cult

Nov. 4, 2013 at 9:55 AM ET

Michelle Pfeiffer didn't think being "breatharian" was a sustainable diet,  despite what she was being told.
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Michelle Pfeiffer didn't think being "breatharian" was a sustainable diet, despite what she was being told.

Michelle Pfeiffer didn't realize she was in a cult until it was almost too late. Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph's Stella magazine, the 55-year-old actress reveals that she was taken advantage of by a "very controlling" couple when she first moved to Hollywood in the early '80s.

The "kind of personal trainers" believed in breatharianism — the ability to live without food and water — and put the future movie star on a diet "nobody can adhere to," Pfeiffer recalls. "They worked with weights and put people on diets. Their thing was vegetarianism."

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"They believed that people in their highest state were breatharian," "The Family" star adds.

Dietary restrictions weren't the only rules imposed upon Pfeiffer. "I wasn't living with them but I was there a lot and they were always telling me I needed to come more," she says. "I had to pay for all the time I was there, so it was financially very draining."

It wasn't until Pfeiffer met her first husband, actor Peter Horton, that she realized what was happening. Horton had been cast in a film about the Moonies, the nickname given to followers of Sun Myung Moon, who created the religious movement in South Korea in 1954.

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While helping Horton research "this cult," Pfeiffer says she soon realized, "I was in one."

"We were talking with an ex-Moonie and he was describing the psychological manipulation and I just clicked," she explains.

Pfeiffer — who divorced Horton in 1988 — does not reveal how she broke away from the "cult."

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