Patsy Palmer’s addiction battle from ‘near-death experience’ to lavish LA life

Patsy Palmer’s off-screen life has been just as dramatic and tumultuous as her EastEnders’ character’s.

The Bianca Butcher actress, 48, became a household name when she first bagged the highly sought-after role on the BBC One soap in 1993.

The much-loved actress has grown up on-screen, appearing on the Albert Square set from 1993 to 1999, and from 2008 to 2014, before returning for a short stint again in 2019.

While her character was faced with endless trials and tribulations, behind closed doors, Patsy was also battling her own demons as she endured a long fight with long with alcohol and drug misuse.

The soap star lifted the lid on her battles back in 2007 when she released her book, All Of Me, which explored her addiction to hedonism, which ultimately drove her to drugs and alcohol.

Patsy told readers that she was an addict because she had ‘it in her genes’, but at the time, she didn’t know how to deal with her compulsions to abuse alcohol and drugs, so she spiraled out of control.

The book’s description reveals that Patsy finally found her way out of the dark place she found herself in after a ‘near-death encounter’.

“It wasn't until much later, after near-death encounters and relationship breakdown with the family she adored but who were also troubled with drug problems and mental health issues, that Patsy found her way to stop.

"These days she is happy and healthy but getting there was a struggle that nearly cost her her kids, her marriage, and her life."

Patsy – who first stepped on stage at the age of six – wrote in her autobiography that she started drinking at eight, sniffing solvents at 11, and snorting cocaine at 13.

"By my twenties, I was bingeing my life away on cocaine, ecstasy, and enough vodka and Laurent Perrier Champagne to quench a small village's thirst for several hours.

"I would be out of my head for two or three days in a row – whole chunks of time were lost.”

“I took so many drugs I'm amazed I survived,” she admitted.

Following the release of her inspirational autobiography, Patsy told Fabulous Magazine that she’s not sure how she survived the dark times as she spiraled out of control completely.

“I’m an addict. I have it in my genes, but the thing was I didn’t know how to deal with it back then," she bravely admitted.

"I don’t know how I survived. It was the producer who first sent me away to get help when she realised things were getting out of control. I was basically having a nervous breakdown."

While the EastEnders star endured a rough battle with addiction, she has managed to completely transform her life – a life which is unrecognisable from the dark days she fought so hard to leave behind.

The Bianca Butcher actress previously told The Mirror that when she looks back on that chapter of her life, she finds it difficult to believe that it was the same person.

“My emotions were completely unmanageable at that time and I don’t think I realised how unmanageable they were until I stopped,” she explained.

“When I look back and see how much I’ve changed I think I was a different person.”

Patsy became teetotal after attending rehab and now lives a fabulous life as a wellness guru in LA.

She and her beloved husband, Richard, and their children Fenton, 20, Emilia, 19, and nine-year-old Bertie enjoy an idyllic life by the sea.

Her genetically blessed youngsters are all dipping their toes into the entertainment industry, despite Patsy warning her children to stay out of the limelight.

Patsy’s eldest son, Charley Palmer Rothwell – who she welcomed with boxer Alfie Rothwell – is following in his mum’s footsteps and is already a big name on the silver screen having starred in flicks such as iBoy and Dunkirk.

  • Ex-EastEnders star Patsy Palmer's famous kids from stunning models to Hollywood actor

Meanwhile, Fenton and Emilia have set their sights on modelling.

Their proud mum Patsy has also turned her talents to founding the Commonwealth Lifestyle Foundation which helps women make business and personal connections while raising money for charity.

She has well and truly left her past behind her, and now looks forward to a future full of female empowerment.

The Daily Star has contacted Patsy’s representatives for comment.

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