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‘Grace Under Fire’ Star Brett Butler Opens Up About Going Broke During COVID Shutdown: “I Am So Screwed Right Now”

‘Grace Under Fire’ Star Brett Butler Opens Up About Going
Broke During COVID Shutdown: “I Am So Screwed Right Now” 1

Grace Under Fire star Brett Butler is opening up about her rocky past, including struggles with addiction, her career, and money. In a candid new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Butler went in-depth on her squandered fortune and aims to come back after years shrouded in darkness.

One of her closest friends, Lon Strickler, recently started up a GoFundMe page for the actress when she faced eviction from her Los Angeles apartment. “I told him, ‘I might’ve waited too long to do this, but I am so screwed right now,’” Butler told THR. “‘I’ve been ashamed. Almost ashamed to death.’”

In response, Strickler said: “I decided that it was in her benefit if I tried to form a GoFundMe account for her.”

Amid the production halting due to COVID-19, Butler was out of work more than ever before and hurdling towards the possibility of homelessness. According to Strickler, it took a bit of time to convince Butler into a crowdfunding campaign, but finally, she agreed.

“He talked me into it,” she said of Strickler’s urging. “The way he put it was, ‘You can’t live your life based on being afraid of what haters will do.’“

Butler has had infrequent roles on TV shows like How to Get Away with MurderThe LeftoversThe Walking Dead, and The Morning Show, but they’re not enough to pay the bills. The actress says she earns a bit over a guild minimum, often $5,000 for a one-day shoot — a far cry from the $250,000 per episode she made at the height of her Grace Under Fire fame.

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Along with her struggles to stay afloat, Butler also went into detail about her battles with drugs, alcohol, and depression. When she was discovered doing stand-up in New York in the mid-1980s, she had already overcome alcoholism and an abusive marriage, later leading to a Vicodin addiction. Further, in 2019, Butler faced a bout of depression like never before.

“This stuff runs in my family,” she said. “My dad was an untreated bipolar alcoholic, and stuff first started popping up for me when I was about 50.”

But a comeback is on the horizon, according to Butler. It may not be in the form of any on-screen work, but a long-delayed return to stand-up is inching closer and closer. She’s begun jotting down jokes in her notebook again, anticipating what it might be like to take the stage all over again.

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