Fantasia Barrino on Surviving an Overdose: ‘I Realized I Have the Spirit of an Eagle’


The Color Purple singer-actress Fantasia Barrino got real about her 2010 overdose in Variety‘s ‘The Power of Women’ issue. As a subject in one of the issue’s four cover stories – others include Billie Eilish, Carey Mulligan, and Lily Gladstone – Barrino, 39, detailed surviving the overdose and finding her “purpose” in the aftermath.

In the story, Barrino shared that she “just wanted the noise to stop,” instead of describing the incident as a suicide attempt. At the time, Barrino was the sole financial support for her family, and her father, Joseph Barrino, filed a $10 million libel suit against her. Joseph claimed that Barrino’s 2005 memoir, Life is Not A Fairy Tale, contained “false, exaggerated, sensational, intentional and malicious untruths” about him being money-hungry. Also in 2010, Barrino’s house was in foreclosure.

While hospitalized, Barrino recalled that a nurse approached her with a stack of magazines, all with her on the cover. “‘You see that young lady,” the nurse told Barrino. “She’s strong. She’s a blessing.” The nurse also extended a message to Barrino: “Don’t you come back in here no more. You fight.”

“I left that hospital and said, ‘I’ll never do that again, because I have purpose,” Barrino continued. “I’m going to speak into every young person’s life and tell them, ‘Don’t you dare give up.’”