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Drew Barrymore on relationship with her mom: 'I think she created a monster'

The actor and talk show host opened up about her past rocky relationship with her mother and where they stand now.
Drew And Jaid Barrymore
Drew Barrymore spoke to Howard Stern about her mother placing her in a psychiatric ward as a teen and how their rocky relationship has evolved over the years. Yvonne Hemsey / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Drew Barrymore has lived her life in the spotlight since before the age of 5 years old, and since then, she’s been an open book when it comes to those early years of sudden fame and the all-too-adult woes that followed them.

She’s long credited her mother, Jaid, with putting her on a path to early excess, having raised her more like a best friend than a child. One example she offered up during a past interview was that, “(My mom) was like, 'Do you want to go to school and get bullied all day, or do you want to go to Studio 54?”

The relationship was detrimental for the young actress, and eventually, her mother realized that, too.

“I think she created a monster, and she didn’t know what to do with the monster,” the actor and talk show host explained during a Monday visit to “The Howard Stern Show.”

So, when Barrymore turned 13, she said her mother put her in a psychiatric ward in California.

“I was in a place for a year and a half called Van Nuys Psychiatric, and you couldn’t mess around in there,” the 46-year-old recalled. “If you did, you’d get thrown either in the padded room or get put in stretcher restraints and tied up.”

It wasn’t an easy experience, but despite the rift that had formed between her and her mother — which ended in a court granting Barrymore emancipation at the age of 14 — she now tries to look back on it all with a sense of understanding.

“This was her last gasp, and I really was out of control, and I forgive her for making this choice,” Barrymore told Stern. “She probably felt she had nowhere to turn.”

Jaid Barrymore raised Drew on her own since divorcing her father, late screen actor John Drew Barrymore, who was largely absent from both of their lives. It’s all part of what the “50 First Dates” star considered when repairing her relationship with her mom as an adult.

John Drew Barrymore and wife Jaid pictured at The Starwood nightclub in West Hollywood, California, years before welcoming their daughter to the world.Frank Edwards / Getty Images

“We texted this morning,” Barrymore said when asked if they still have contact. “I’m really glad there is healing there. I feel goodness toward my mom.”

And as a mother to two daughters of her own, Olive, 8, and Frankie, 6, she added, “I feel empathy and understanding.”

She’s even invited her mother into her children’s lives, with caution.

“She’s met my kids,” Barrymore said. “But there’s real boundaries and distance and a lot of respect.”