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Selma Blair on the 'public humiliation' of the last time she drank: 'I could've died'

The actor details her journey with alcoholism and sobriety in a new interview with TODAY's Savannah Guthrie.

It's been nearly six years since the last time Selma Blair drank alcohol, and she finally feels like she's conquered her inner demons.

The actor sat down with TODAY's Savannah Guthrie in an exclusive interview aired Wednesday and discussed her new memoir and experience with multiple sclerosis and alcoholism.

The 49-year-old revealed that she got drunk for the first time at 7 years old but had her first drinks "much younger."

"Even as a little kid you’re like, 'That’s a comfort,'" she recalled.

Asked how she was able to function when she drank through elementary, middle, high school and college, Blair replied: "It was hard. I don’t know. But maybe it was easier. Maybe I never would have survived without a drink," she said.

In her new memoir, "Mean Baby," the actor writes about her long battle with alcoholism: "The desire to drink as much as I could, as often as I could, stayed with me and did not let me go for more than 20 years."

But Blair said she hasn't had a drink since 2016 — after she passed out on a plane while traveling with her then-4-year-old son, Arthur, and his father, Jason Bleick. She later apologized for the incident.

"Public humiliation and the thing that made me really stop drinking was that I could've died on that plane," she told Savannah. "I mean now that I was a mother, it just changed everything. It’s gone from me. I’m not cocky about it. You have to always be vigilant. But it’s really gone."

Selma Blair got candid about her health struggles in a new interview with Savannah Guthrie.
Selma Blair got candid about her health struggles in a new interview with Savannah Guthrie.TODAY

Four years ago, Blair also revealed that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. While talking with Savannah, she explained that she's grateful to finally have answers for the physical pain she has experienced since childhood.

"Doctors thought I had leukemia. I didn’t but it was a constant high fever. I had so many things that were so indicative of MS," she said, adding that she knows “for sure” she had it by the time she was 23.

“The pain is still there. I’m in remission. I built no new lesions. But I still have some brain damage and things that are there, but I’m OK with it. I’m grateful because I’m doing so much better,” she said.

In some ways, Blair's experience with MS has empowered her to be open about her alcoholism and recovery.

"It really was the gift that I had received when I was vulnerable about the MS," she said. "There’s no real room for guilt in moving forward. There isn’t. Guilt keeps secrets, and it’s scared and there’s not much I feel ashamed of anymore because it just happened."

"I’m really, really happy to be able to walk into this space of empowerment and realizing I am a calm and stable grown-up," she added. "I’m OK, even though I’ve not always been."