Lily Collins, who is 33, said that the trauma of an emotionally abusive relationship she had when she was in her early 20s is still with her.
This week, the star of “Emily in Paris” went on the “We Can Do Hard Things” podcast and told host Glennon Doyle that she often had panic attacks and severe anxiety. Collins said that her ex-boyfriend, whom she didn’t name, put her down and insulted her.
Collins said, “My romantic toxic relationship was a lot of verbal and emotional abuse and being made to feel very small,” She then imitated her ex. “‘You should be Little Lily.’ He’d use awful words about me in terms of what I was wearing and would call me a whore.”
“There were awful words and then there were belittling words,” Collins said. “I became quite silent and comfortable in silence and feeling like I had to make myself small to feel super safe.”
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Collins played a character with anorexia in the 2017 movie “To the Bone.” Later that same year, she wrote a memoir in which she said she had anorexia in her 20s. She told People that it felt like “having my diary published.” She even wrote about her exes, and one of them still stands out.
“My skin was breaking out,” Collins told Doyle about the same former boyfriend. “I was having these panic attacks and kidney infections … but I didn’t, at that time of my life, put two and two together. As your body is telling you, ‘This is not something you’re supposed to be in.’”
Collins said that she is much happier now that she is married to the director Charlie McDowell. They got married in 2021. She told Doyle that her trauma sometimes “comes back like that,” but she also said that McDowell cares about her health and takes care of her when she needs it.
“When I’m in one of those moments, it is so clear to Charlie, who can read me like a book, and he calls it out in a moment,” said Collins. “This is what healthy … communication can feel like. When someone can lovingly … help you … it may feel uncomfortable but it’s for the best.”
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