A week before her father takes the oath of office as New York City's next mayor, Chiara de Blasio, 19, has stolen the spotlight by posting a YouTube video detailing her struggles with drugs and alcohol.
On the campaign trail in the hotly contested mayoral race, rumors swirled that de Blasio, a college sophomore in California, had a problem. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio never directly addressed it, something he now explains as a private, "deeply personal struggle."
In Chiara de Blasio's five-minute video, she explains that she suffered clinical depression and anxiety throughout her adolescence, based in large part on "physical insecurity."
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She turned to "weed and alcohol" to deal with her feelings, and in turn became addicted.
Wearing one of her signature headbands
, de Blasio credits her parents with being "emotionally committed" to getting her help at an outpatient treatment center in New York City.
She is sober, she said, and became so in time to participate in her father's campaign.
"It's the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's so worth it," the mayor-elect's older child says.
"I wanted to speak out because so many people are suffering from this disease and dying from this disease every day, and we really can't do anything as a society to help those people until we start talking about it. Nobody can do sobriety on their own."
Her parents — her mother is Chirlane McCray — issued a statement, via an email sent through Bill de Blasio's transition office, lauding their daughter's decision.
"Her courage to speak out demonstrates a wisdom and maturity far beyond her 19 years, and we are grateful every day for her commitment to lifting up those who need to know that they are not alone," Newsday reports
Bill de Blasio is the first Democrat elected to be the Big Apple's mayoralty in nearly 25 years. He will succeed Michael Bloomberg, who has held the post for 12 years.
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