But now, the 34-year-old is opening up about her relationship with her late sister, and her triumph over abuse and addiction in her new memoir!
In the tell all, Rosie shares never-before-told stories about Jenni's rise to stardom and how her untimely death affected the family in many different ways.
The author also exposes a personal and heartbreaking story of sexual abuse at the hands of a family member — speaking honestly and intimately about the details.
Driven through a cycle of addiction, depression, and even attempted suicide, Rosie's faith and love helped her reconcile with her family.
Looking for a way out
"It was Saturday night and I was at my brother Lupe's house downing
shot after shot of tequila. I'd been at it since the moment I
woke up that morning and like every other weekend I was feeling
pretty sorry for myself. I had just dropped out of law school, I was
being a lousy mother and I was failing at my job selling real estate,
and I was married to an abusive man. My brothers and sister were
traveling the world, taking it by storm while I was wasting my
life away smoking and drinking in seedy nightclubs, hoping that
the sun would never come up so I wouldn't have to face another
day. My family was the best anyone could ask for, but somehow
that wasn't enough—all I could think of was what an utter failure
I was and I couldn't see how things would ever get better. I was
I took another shot of tequila and stared blankly at the wall.
This was a new low: I wasn't just sad and depressed. I was at a
point where I physically couldn't stand to be in the world anymore.
My head hurt from thinking so much and my body ached all the
time—I always felt as if I had just been beaten up. It wasn't just
that I didn't want to live anymore. I couldn't. For as long as I could
remember, I had been living with this death wish but that night
something clicked inside me and I fi nally decided to take action. I
decided I had to end my life once and for all. Nothing mattered to
me anymore, not my loving parents, not my sister or my brothers.
Not even my daughter Kassey, who was two at the time. Ever since
she arrived in my life she had been a powerful reason to stay alive,
but on this night not even the thought of her was enough to keep
me afl oat. I feared that all I could ever be to her was a disappointment
and that she would probably be better off without me.
I could feel myself slipping so I dialed my brother Juan. Juan is
the closest to me in age and if there is one person in the world who
I know will always have my back, it's him. But when he picked up
the phone, I could tell from the background noise that he was
clearly in the middle of something.
"Sister, can I call you back in about an hour? I'm about to go
onstage," he said.
"Yeah, sure," I said, trying to sound casual.
Of course he doesn't have time for me, I thought, wallowing
in my self-pity. Why would he?
Next I tried to call my other brother Lupe, but he was probably
onstage because his phone went straight to voice mail. So I fi nally
decided to call my sister, Chay—no matter what I was going
through, my big sister never judged me or made me feel like anything
less than a warrior. She would get me out of this one. I
needed so badly to see myself through her eyes, to believe that all
the good things she thought of me were true.
"Hi, Sister, how are you?" I asked, doing my best to hide the
tears in my voice. But it was impossible to keep a secret from Chay.
Right away she knew something was up.
"Sister, don't cry," she said in her sweet voice. "I'm about to
start my show but can I call you in about two hours? I promise I'll
call you the minute I get offstage."
I hung up the phone thinking two hours were an eternity. There
was no way I'd be able to hang on for so long. Every cell in my
being was hurting and no amount of tequila or drugs was ever going
to numb the pain. I needed it to stop.
It wasn't the fi rst time I'd thought about killing myself. When I was
sixteen and still dealing with the aftermath of what Trino had
done to me, I tried to slit my wrists. But as soon as I saw the fi rst
fl ow of blood trickle down my arm I chickened out and pounced
on the medicine cabinet, looking for a bandage. Part of it might be
that when confronted with the reality of it, in my heart of hearts,
I didn't want to die by my own hands. But more than that, I didn't
want to offend God. Even though at the time I wasn't living a
Christian life, I was terrifi ed of going to Hell. No matter how
much pain I was feeling right then, I knew committing suicide
meant spending an eternity in Hell and that was something I wasn't
willing to risk.
Nonetheless, over the following years death was always on my
mind. At twenty-fi ve, I was a single mother, my husband of three
months was abusing me, and I felt like the loneliest person in the
world. I walked around like an open wound, waiting for something
or someone to give me the fi nal blow. No matter how much
my family tried to convince me of the contrary, in my eyes my life
had no value. I wished for something to happen, something to put
me in harm's way so my life would be fi nished. Every weekend I'd
drink myself unconscious, do massive amounts of Ecstasy, and
I'd sleep with random guys I'd pick up at bars while never once
using protection. In my twisted mind, I went so far as hoping to
But nothing ever happened.
Now, drinking alone in my brother's house, I somehow wasn't
afraid of Hell anymore. I believed that I was invisible to God. I
knew He existed, was certain that He existed, but He was ignoring
me. He clearly didn't care. Why else would He have allowed me to
fall this low? This life already felt like Hell and so I fi gured the
Hell that God was going to send me to couldn't possibly be any
worse. I still didn't have it in me to take my own life, so the next
best thing would be to fi nd someone to do it for me. So I came up
with a plan.
I was going to set off walking from Lupe's house in Playa del
Rey toward South Central Los Angeles, a neighborhood notorious
for being one of the most crime-ridden areas in the country. In my
drunken mind, it all made perfect sense: in the time it would take
for me to get there, there had to be at least one degenerate willing
to pick me up, rape me, and kill me. Surely I couldn't be that lucky.
At around two thirty a.m., I started walking north on Lincoln Boulevard.
I was wearing a tight black miniskirt and a revealing colorful
top, which was bound to attract attention. But by the time I
reached Loyola University—about half an hour into my journey—
not a single soul had paid me one bit of attention. There were
plenty of cars on the street but no one stopped to look at
me twice. As much as I wanted to end my life then and there, there
was also a part of me that was hoping someone would just stop
and talk to me. But I was getting nothing. Clearly, I wasn't only
invisible to God, I was also invisible to all of humankind. Was I
really that unwanted? I had just lost eighty pounds, undergone a
tummy tuck, and I looked better than I had in years. Why, then,
was no one even noticing me?
I desperately needed to get someone's attention and if wandering
down the street like a mad woman wasn't going to work, I
needed to up my game. I took off half of the top I was wearing, and
hiked my skirt up even higher. It was chilly outside and I could feel
the cold wind from Marina del Rey engulfi ng me. I took off my
high heels but my feet were too numb to feel any rocks on the cold
concrete. If only my heart could have been as numb as my feet.
All I could hear was silence. Not a single car honked at me, not
a single person stopped to ask me whether I needed help. There
was just silence and the low hum of cars racing by. It was as if
I was the only soul in the world and around me was absolute darkness,
the confi rmation of everything I was feeling in my heart. I
remember looking up at the stars and screaming, "God! Why don't
You just get rid of me? Why?" I yelled. "You allowed all the awful
things in my life to happen so why don't You just let me go?"
I was only twenty-fi ve, but felt as though I had lived a hundred
"Please, God," I begged, my face covered in tears, "if You care
anything about me, I beg You, out of love, to take my life."
But yet again, nothing happened.
It had been a few hours since I'd had my last drink. My alcohol
level had subsided enough that I was regaining some of my senses
but not enough to deter me from my plan. My feet ached and I was
starting to shiver, but I was desperate to fi nd a way out. I continued
to walk down the street, thinking of how to end my life.
The sun still hadn't come up by the time I fi nally decided to
lie down in the street near the curb. I remember thinking: "I'll lie
down here and fall asleep. Chances are, some drunk driver is
bound to come barreling down this street; he won't see my body
and will run me over without my having to feel a thing." More
than dying, I was afraid of the pain and this would guarantee that
it would be over fast.
"See, God?" I said to myself. "I don't need You. I can take care
of this myself."
Exhausted, I laid my head down on the curb and fell into a