Sinéad O’Connor Says Her Mother Physically and Sexually Abused Her
Sinéad O’Connor’s life sounds even more heartbreaking than the song that made her a star, a 1990 cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.”
The Irish singer recently posted a Facebook video in which she told fans she has been suicidal and has needed help the past two years.
Now she’s telling her life story in hopes of destigmatizing mental illness.
Sinéad’s new interview comes a month after the Facebook video that had fans worried for her safety — one in which she talked about how alone and helpless she has felt since losing custody of her 13-year-old son.
“I’m all by myself. And there’s absolutely nobody in my life except my doctor, my psychiatrist — the sweetest man on earth, who says I’m his hero — and that’s about the only f—king thing keeping me alive at the moment,” she said.
Not long after, the 50-year-old reached out to TV self-help guru Dr. Phil.
“She called and she said, ‘I want to destigmatize mental illness,’” Phil explained on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“She said, ‘I clearly have a problem, too many musicians are dying. I want to use my life, be a teaching tool. I’m willing to sit down and talk.’”
In new footage from the interview, Sinéad says she’s tired of her reputation.
“I am fed up of being defined as, you know, the crazy person, the child abuse survivor,” she declares.
Then she gets into her troublesome family history...
The singer-songwriter’s parents split when she was just 8 years old; and in 1985, her mom, Marie O’Connor, was killed in a car accident.
But Sinéad tells Dr. Phil her mother was physically and sexually abusive.
“She was not well; she was really, very, very, very not well,” she says.
“I would say she was possessed although I’m not sure I believe in such things …
“What I love about my mother is that she's dead.”
“She ran a torture chamber,” the Dubliner continues.
“She was a person who took delight [and would smile] in hurting you …
“She used to make me say over and over again ‘I am nothing. I am nothing’ while she was beating me.”
Finally, at age 13, Sinéad ran away from home.
Now Sinéad has family issues of her own, unfortunately. In her interview with Dr. Phil, she talks about her family’s refusal to take care of her.
“I obviously want to be really careful ‘cause I love my family and I don’t blame them,” she says.
“It’s not easy for families of mentally ill people. We can be difficult.”
“What happened was I had been writing to my family begging letters and angry letters and raging. And I don’t want to make out like I’m a victim here — I give it as good as I get.
“I thought it might be better if my family, if they saw how I’m feeling, they would relate to it.”
Nothing compares to Sinéad — and we hope she gets the help and care she needs.
Dr. Phil’s interview with Sinéad O’Connor airs on Tuesday, September 12. Check local listings.