Mena Suvari Opens Up About Overcoming Meth Addiction and Abuse Trauma

By Samantha Bergeson Jul 28, 2021 5:41 PMTags

Mena Suvari is giving herself "permission" to bare all. 

The American Beauty star opened up about her experience as a sexual assault survivor and former meth addict to E! News' Daily Pop co-host Justin Sylvester on July 28. The mother of one has found bliss with husband Michael Hope, but Suvari is proudly still on a healing process after penning her "incredibly liberating" memoir The Great Peace

"I just felt so compelled to do it through experiencing all that," Suvari revealed of writing the book, out now. "I made the connection that what I experienced in my life meant something, in hearing other people share and tell their story." 

Suvari detailed her "double life" prior to filming cult classic American Pie in 1999. "That was probably part of my survival," Suvari explained. "I could wrap it up very neatly in a sweater set with [her character] Heather."

While Suvari admitted that meth wasn't her "thing," she became hooked on the drug after trying it on vacation. 

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"I was at a party and it was shown to me, and the way that it was presented to me was that it's the worst thing in the world, but it will make you feel like you can do anything," Suvari reflected. "That's just what was happening then. I wasn't just, like, the only one doing it, so then you're just like in that crowd. I can only assume by then you're so far down the rabbit hole...There was always something that saved me at just the right moment." 


Suvari also credited the #MeToo movement for inspiring the "permission that I learned I could give to myself" about discussing her assault at age 12. 

As for Suvari's Peace, she wrote the tell-all as much for herself as she did for other survivors.

"I felt so compelled to tell my story—I needed to, first and foremost," Suvari continued. "It's truly something that I had to do for myself and my relationship with the universe, but if anything, I always had the passion, the intention, that if I could shave off a summer of suffering for anyone, I want to do that." 

Suvari concluded, "I want to be that person that I needed. If anything, I hope it can inspire and shine light. I hope it can create more conversations that I think are important to keep having."

Watch the clip above, and for more of her story about overcoming abuse, listen to the full interview on E!'s Just the Sip podcast.

For more information on mental health awareness, visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Watch Daily Pop weekdays at 11 a.m., only on E!.