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Cameron Diaz says it was ‘difficult to watch’ friend Drew Barrymore’s drinking struggles

The two have been friends for more than three decades.
/ Source: TODAY

Cameron Diaz says it was hard watching good friend Drew Barrymore struggle with her drinking after the talk show host divorced Will Kopelman in 2016.

Barrymore, 48, said she drank because she felt like she had failed the couple's daughters, Olive, 10, and Frankie, 8. She said her struggles got so bad that her therapist quit.

“He just said, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’” Barrymore told the Los Angeles Times. “It was really about my drinking. I said, ‘I get it. I’ve never respected you more. You see I’m not getting better. And I hope, one day, that I can earn your trust back.’”

Diaz, who has known Barrymore since the “E.T.” star was a teenager and starred with her in a pair of “Charlie’s Angels” movies, said it was “difficult to watch” her friend go through that experience.

Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz attend the premiere of 2003's "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California.
Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz attend the premiere of 2003's "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California.Alamy

“But I knew that if we all stuck with her and gave her the support she needed, she would find her way,” Diaz said. “I have absolute faith in her. You can’t even comprehend how hard it was to be her as a child, and then she shot out the other end with the ability to save herself.”

Barrymore's struggles with addiction dating back to her childhood are well known, but she refuses to use it as a crutch.

“There’s a choice to be had in how you see your circumstances, and I refuse to be stifled as a human being because of what I lived through as a kid,” she said. “Don’t f------ cloak me in this dark s---. I don’t want to take on anyone else’s perception of what it should have been, because I don’t feel that way. I think that I’m incredibly rebellious because of it.”

Barrymore quit drinking in 2019 after she began shooting “The Drew Barrymore Show.”

“I think the opportunity at a show like this really hit me,” she said. “I was like, ‘I can’t handle this unless I’m in a really clear place.’”

She says she doesn’t label herself sober or participate in any program like Alcoholics Anonymous and understands that staying clean is not a linear journey.

\"Charlie''s Angels\" Publicity Stills
Drew Barrymore (left), Cameron Diaz (center) and Lucy Liu (right) starred in a pair of "Charlie's Angels" movies.Getty Images

“I kept thinking, ‘I’ll master this. I’ll figure it out.’ And finally, I just realized: ‘You’ve never mastered this, and you never will,’” she said.

Barrymore also persuaded her therapist to give her another chance, claiming quitting drinking proved she can change.  

“I don’t stay stuck,” she said.

While her show has been renewed for a fourth season, Barrymore says she knows it’s important to step back and remember what really matters.

“My worth has been so wrapped up in this job and this life, because it’s given me so much,” she said. “I realized that just with me and my girls, I am truly happy. I’d always thought I’d be on this hamster wheel for this whole life. But maybe there will be something different before the lights go out.”