Melba Broderick and Carrie Fisher

While looking at the Bulkley family tree, I noticed the Jennifer Hemphill took two images of my grandmother, Melba Presco-Wilkins, and put them in HER PILE. Why did she do this? She does not descend from the Broderick family. She never knew any members of my natal family – including our star – that the law firm of Robert Brevoort Buck legally declared should be THE CENTRAL FOCUS of OUR family history in order to regenerate a waning history in Rosamond’s art, and, inspire a movie – so creditors can be paid off. My mother told me Jacci Belford, and her high school buddy, Stacey Pierrot, were considering getting Carrie Fisher to author a biography – and screen play? Why? Carrie died the worst way an addict can, in public, vomiting all over yourself and perhaps others.

This is Princess Leah. Does Hemphill see herself, and her Mommy as the SANE FAMILY MEMBERS, and thus they get to have a go at another book and movie? Will my mother, my famous sister, and myself, be demonized some more to make it all work for Robert Brevoort Buck – who set up the Buck Foundation – that funds Alcohol Justice? I will post the evil things Pierrot’s ghost writer say about the mother of a world famous artist – that had to shock all those Rosamond fans. Why did they have to read NEGATIVE THINGS about Rosemary – the mother of Rosamond! This is why sales plummeted, and interest in Rosamond prints – WAS KILLED!

How many loyal fans did Princess Leah lose after they read this nightmare. In ‘When You Close Your Eyes’ my sister’s alleged struggle with her bi-polar condition was made more difficult by her alcoholism. Rosemary suggested THEY wanted another ‘Postcards From the Edge’ that was a self-help novel written by the person that suffers from addictions and mental illness. That the Buck law firm silenced my self-help autobiography, and allegedly bid Tom Snyder to get family members and friends to sign a NDA – goes against all the programs that help people who suffer, and want to save their lives. Speaking up is vital. I have been making this case to Alcohol Justice – who is giving me the silent treatment? This goes against their bi-laws. I give them one more week to respond.

Carrie Fisher is in my family tree via my cousin Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor who almost died of alcoholism – as did her daughter-in-law, Aileen Getty! Christine’s autobiography – was disappeared! She died on her first sober birthday. The party that was planned – was covered up. People I know – concealed themselves. They hated AA. Aileen Getty is in my family tree. She too suffered from addictions. If Sydney Morris and Robert Buck can bless and employ un-famous outsiders who did not know my family, to allegedly help people who suffer, then I get to bring famous to the fight to save lives.

I thank my ex-wife, Mary Ann Tharaldsen, for allowing me to ground my work and my thirty-three years of sobriety in the bond we made when I was sober. MA is kin to these famous people – too! We are kin to the famous writer, Ian Fleming, who I have compared to Thomas Pynchon who was influenced by Mystery Detective Writers. I have put him with the Black Mask Writers.

John Presco

My Kindred – Liz Taylor and Ian Fleming | Rosamond Press

Aileen Getty Comes Clean – POZ

What Carrie Fisher’s Death Can Teach Us About Drug Addiction | Health.com

A History of Carrie Fisher’s Drug Addiction – Orange County Drug Rehab (asanarecovery.com)

Seeking Relief in the Wrong Places

During her frequent bouts of rehab, Fisher was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder and even wrote about the experience in her novel Postcards from the Edge. Initially, the actress attempted to use writing as a means of coping with her addiction and finding an alternative route. At one point, she started living a normal life.

However, in a disturbing prediction for her future, Fisher claimed that she would never receive the Hollywood ending. On December 23, 2016, on a flight from London to Los Angeles, she stopped breathing and vomited severely. Ultimately, she passed out and was transported to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where she passed away four days later. (A subsequent coroner’s report revealed Fisher had, at some point prior to her death, consumed cocainealcoholheroin, and ecstasy.)

If anything, our Princess Leia taught us that anything is possible if we put our mind to it. Her honesty about her addiction was nothing short of admirable, and she will always be remembered for her beauty and strength.

Drug Rehab in Orange County

Throughout history, many wonderful people have been claimed by dangerous drugs, and, unfortunately, hundreds more are dying as a result of overdoses each year. However, you do not have to be among the casualties of the Opioid Crisis, crystal meth scares, or additional drug-related incidences poisoning our country. You can take a stand and overcome your mental illness. With the right amount of perseverance, patience, and love, anything is possible.

Are you suffering from a severe case of drug addiction or alcoholism? Is your friend or loved one also suffering from this sickness? In both cases, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of drug withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.

If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 763-3440 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.

She hugs me hard, and she smells like heaven. Aileen Getty has just scurried down the stairs of her Hollywood hillside home to greet me, even though I’ve only dropped by to pick up a videotape of her Dateline NBC appearance and hadn’t expected to see her. But here she is, fresh off a three-day hospital stay, and she hugs me, an utter stranger, with an earnest abandon that’s often missing in the arms of one’s closest friends. She is a wisp of a thing, dressed in a white gauze blouse and a sarong-like skirt the color of Caribbean water. In her sense of style there is a lifetime of money and a veneer of confidence, but in her demeanor there is an unnerving lack of guile, the kind of uncertainty that comes from doing time in the depths of loneliness. I am fascinated by her, and thus I am flustered.

“Do you want an iced tea?” she asks, furrowing her brow and scratching her forehead a little nervously. “Some water?”

“No,” I say, “I’m fine. I, um, I have to get back to the office.”

With that, I flee down the stone steps and the long, steep driveway through the verdigris gate. I don’t think I thanked her.

It would be nice to write about Aileen Getty without identifying her first as an heiress, as the granddaughter of the late oil baron J. Paul Getty, as the sister of Paul, who lost an ear to Italian gangsters at 16 and his lucidity to a stroke at 25. Aileen would probably appreciate a description of herself so separate from her legacy, distanced as she seems from it, damaged as she has been by the side effects of privilege. But such an independent identity will never be hers to enjoy, in her lifetime or after, so let’s get it over with: Aileen Getty is the 36-year-old daughter of Jean Paul Getty, Jr. by his first wife, Gail; she should be partial heir to her family’s $750 million share of the J. Paul Getty fortune. Which only means that when Aileen has a showing of her art at a gallery, the critics get more pissed off than usual if they don’t like the art. It also means that now, deep in the throes of her 11-year-long battle with AIDS, she doesn’t have to worry so much about how to pay her medical bills.

What she does worry about is being misunderstood for all that she believes and represents. Aileen Getty is full of metaphors and imagery and lists of pronouncements about life, death and being a Getty, and she has paid dearly for her frankness. Her recent interview with Jane Pauley of Dateline stands as a cautionary example of what can happen to someone this young, beautiful, famous and sick with AIDS: You muster the will to speak up about your illness and get rewarded with shame. The Dateline footage is painful to watch: As Aileen struggles through a medicated haze to explain her complicated life lessons in soundbites suitable for broadcast, Pauley, well-coiffed and smug, poses for a camera that’s far more sympathetic to her networked-over persona than it is to her subject. “I’m happy I have AIDS,” says Aileen, in all her unstudied candor. Pauley frowns, and tilts her head quizzically to one side. “Can you explain that to me?“ she demands. ”Oh!“ Aileen backtracks. ”You must think I’m a total idiot.”

In fact, Pauley does seem to consider Aileen some degree of idiot, and later in the broadcast she does her best to convince her viewers of the same. It only helps Pauley’s mission that Aileen was admittedly “using and not clear,” at the time of the interview. It also helps that Aileen made this confession in a letter to her father, which he promptly and considerately faxed to Pauley.

Like I said: It would be nice to write about Aileen and not dwell on the peculiarities of the Getty family. It seems far more worthwhile, at this point, to dwell instead on what it means when Aileen says, not like a total idiot but as a woman who’s taken the hard, long road to truth, that AIDS, in her words, “is a phenomenal gift.”

If it hadn’t been for HIV, I would still be a victim,“ Aileen says. ”Victimized by my parents, by my legacy, by life. I’d been in seven institutions, I’d had 12 shock treatments, I’d had seven miscarriages. I was anorexic, a self-mutilator. I’d been there and back.“ In the most simplistic terms, it sounds like she was making one desperate bid for attention after another. ”Right,“ says Aileen. ”And the ultimate attention comes from death, and now I’ve got AIDS. I think it’s probably been a lifetime of trying to die in order to be loved.” If this version of Aileen Getty, the one I sit down with two days after our first brief meeting, has little in common with the feckless child on the Dateline videotape, she has just as little in common with the composed, preppy-looking woman smiling out from her publicity photos. When she welcomes me to her house this time with somewhat — but not a whole lot — more reserve, I wonder not how the girl who had everything got so messed up, but how the woman whose father faxed her personal correspondence to Jane Pauley remains so unguarded, so dangerously honest, in the presence of a journalist. “I don’t have a choice,” she explains when I ask her why she’d ever consent to another interview. “I feel a responsibility to be public, although it’s not my nature to be public.

“I’m not always familiar with the things that I’ve said, because before I speak or do any interview, I always pray,” says Aileen, who believes in Jesus but not necessarily in church. “I’m terrified of the public and I’m terrified of interviews and I’m terrified of cameras, and I always pray to be a vehicle for something larger than myself. I always pray to not be myself so I don’t really relate to anything outside of the situation right here. But when you’re public domain you do feel like, a…what are they called? Those Motel 8’s or whatever. I feel industrialized. Fortunately, I don’t suffer from it, I don’t take it to bed with me. I live actually a very simple life, a very unglamorous life, a very real, good life. A real good life. I love my life.”

It is early March, one of those stunning days in Southern California when the air is suddenly full of jasmine and the breeze is warm but as yet smog-free; the kind of day that makes it hard to think about leaving this world. The sun is beating down on Aileen’s brutally sunny patio, but she is soaking in it, draped in a black dress over black suede Doc Marten boots, her long, silky brown hair brushed back over one side of her face. Her 12-week-old German shepherd puppy, Texas, scrambles around our feet and tugs at Aileen’s sleeves, much to the dismay of Aileen’s manager, Steve Grissom, who is doing his best to control a situation that will forever be out of anyone’s control. In his friend and client’s own best interest, Steve would really prefer that Aileen avoid talking too much about drugs and out-of-body experiences. But Aileen, ever the rebel, is adamant. “Don’t avoid the drug issue,” she advises in a voice made husky and nasal by cigarettes and tuberculosis, and in an accent that betrays her multilingual childhood. “It’s not something I want to avoid. I think it’s very important to deal with drugs and HIV. It’s very prevalent. They’re two separate diseases, both lethal. But just because you’ve got HIV it doesn’t automatically put alcoholism into remission.”

In fact, Aileen attests, AIDS too often exacerbates addiction. “Drugs are about control over fear,” she says, “and when you have AIDS, your lack of control is all that much more evident. I tried to make up for that lack of being in control with a lot of cocaine. That’s definitely not the way to do it.”

It has been nearly three months since Aileen nearly died, of toxicity and weakness, in her doctor’s office, and nearly three months since she made a commitment to get sober. “I was clinically dead,” she says. “I went through the whole out-of-body experience and everything; it was probably the clearest memory I’ve ever had. And there was a moment where I got to choose whether to come back or not, and I didn’t know if I wanted to live. I have a lot of shame about that,” she confesses. “Life is given to one with so much love. It broke my heart when I realized I’d turned my back on it.”

“On the lip of life,” as she puts it, Aileen chose life; she learned to “walk its circumference instead of fucking it down the middle.” And she finally understood she didn’t want either disease to kill her. “It’s a hell of an achievement,” she boasts, “to get sober with HIV.” Aileen has known since 1985 that she was HIV positive, and shortly afterward she was diagnosed with AIDS. But it wasn’t until 1991, after Magic Johnson disclosed his condition to the media, that Aileen went public, too, via Kevin Sessums in Vanity Fair, “because HIV was something that required a woman to stand up and speak the truth.” Aileen’s truth came in increments at first. She initially claimed that she’d become infected through a blood transfusion, but within the year, as her support increased and shame diminished, she admitted that she had contracted HIV from unprotected sex in an extramarital affair — a disclosure that, at the time, led to the dissolution of her eight-year marriage to Christopher Wilding, Elizabeth Taylor’s son by Michael Wilding.

Aileen is now engaged to be remarried, to 40-year-old documentary filmmaker Jay Brown, but Taylor has remained the woman Aileen calls mom, and her former daughter-in-law’s illness has added fuel to Taylor’s ongoing fundraising efforts for AIDS research and treatment. In the past four years, Aileen has become an activist, too: Around the same time that her story hit the media, Homestead Hospice, a Los Angeles-based network of shelters for people with AIDS, approached her about sponsoring a home for women with the disease, and her energy helped establish a house in the South Bay city of Lawndale called the Dallas House, named for a boy Aileen mothered for five years. Aileen hopes to open a second hospice in Hollywood, calling it the Aileen Getty House. “It’s a wish,” she says. “But money is hard to come by, and raising it is very political. People expect commendation and notoriety for their generosity. Obviously, it’s a lot more inviting to give to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation than it is to give to the Homestead Hospice.”

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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