Four years after a series of arrests and public rants, actress Amanda Bynes has broken her silence.
Bynes graces the cover of Paper Magazine, who infamously “broke the internet” with its cover of Kim Kardashian. In the accompanying interview, the Easy A and She’s The Man star opens up about some of her past behaviour, saying:
I'm really ashamed and embarrassed with the things I said
I can't turn back time but if I could, I would. And I'm so sorry to whoever I hurt and whoever I lied about because it truly eats away at me.
It makes me feel so horrible and sick to my stomach and sad. Everything I worked my whole life to achieve, I kind of ruined it all through Twitter. It's definitely not Twitter's fault - it's my own fault.
The actress, who rose to fame in the '90s on Nickelodeon, said she's been sober for four years and is currently studying at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.
In 2014, she was sentenced to three years relating to a drunk driving charge. As part of the sentence, she was required by law to attend alcohol education classes. But later that year, she made headlines again when she accused her father of abusing her on Twitter. Bynes partly attributes this erratic behaviour to substance misuse.
Everybody is different, obviously, but for me, the mixture of marijuana and whatever other drugs and sometimes drinking really messed up my brain.
It really made me a completely different person. I actually am a nice person. I would never feel, say or do any of the things that I did and said to the people I hurt on Twitter.
She described that an escalation of her drug use and lack of work made her behaviour spiral further out of control.
I just had no purpose in life. I'd been working my whole life and [now] I was doing nothing
I had a lot of time on my hands and I would 'wake and bake' and literally be stoned all day long... [I] was just stuck at home, getting high, watching TV and tweeting... I never did heroin or meth or anything like that but certain things that you think are harmless, they may actually affect you in a more harmful way.
Despite tweeting that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder following a psychiatric evaluation, Bynes clarified that she does not have a mental illness outside of her addiction issues.
It definitely isn't fun when people diagnose you with what they think you are
That was always really bothersome to me. If you deny anything and tell them what it actually is, they don't believe you. Truly, for me, [my behavior] was drug-induced, and whenever I got off of [drugs], I was always back to normal.
I know that my behavior was so strange that people were just trying to grasp at straws for what was wrong.
Following her studies at fashion school, Bynes said she hopes to design a clothing line and act again. But she hopes her story will inspire others to be more careful.
Be really, really careful because you could lose it all and ruin your entire life like I did