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Designing Women Star Delta Burke Took CRYSTAL METH To Lose Weight For TV!

Delta Burke Designing Women Took Crystal Meth Weight Loss

You thought celebs using Ozempic for weight loss was too far? Delta Burke did meth, y’all!

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of watching her fabulous, funny, and twice-Emmy-nominated turn as Suzanne Sugarbaker on Designing Women, Delta was a huge TV star in the ’80s and ’90s. Unfortunately the biz was even less accepting of different body types for women at that time. And the pressure to keep the weight off led her to try all kinds of things.

Opening up on the most recent episode of the Glamorous Trash podcast, Delta explained how it began with a prescription for weight-loss pills during drama school in London. But whatever she was on turned out to be ILLEGAL in the US!

Related: Scott Disick Reportedly Getting Help For Ozempic Use

So when she came home, she started taking Black Beauties, a capsule of 10 mg each of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. She was told to “take them in the morning so you won’t eat”:

“They were like medicine to me.”

But it wasn’t medicine. It was speed. And her body eventually built up a tolerance. Delta was starring on a short-lived TV show called Filthy Rich at the time, and a colleague recommended she take something a little harder: meth. She didn’t even know how bad what she was doing was:

“Nobody knew about crystal meth at the time. [They told me,] ‘You chop it up. You snort.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to snort it.’ So I put it in cranberry juice and [drank] it… and wouldn’t eat for five days.”

OMG. So dangerous! But for Hollywood, forever trying to put her into a very specific box, as they do with all women, it wasn’t enough. She recalled being told she needed to lose more weight:

“They were still saying, ‘Your butt’s too big. Your legs are too big.’ And I now look back at those pictures and go, ‘I was a freaking goddess.'”

Damn straight she was!

Delta Burke and husband Gerald McRaney at the 2017 Emmys
Delta Burke and husband Gerald McRaney at the Emmys in 2017. / (c) Nicky Nelson/WENN

She went on to slay on five seasons of Designing Women, but even on such a feminist show she was still being pressured — even if from the outside — to slim down. Eventually, she says, she was “emotionally too fragile” to handle the “incredibly ugly” things being said about her body:

“I thought I was stronger. I tried very hard to defend myself against lies and all the ugliness that was there and I wasn’t gonna win. I’m just an actress, you know. I don’t have any power.”

She added sometimes the pressure would noticeably affect her body language on the set:

“I would kind of hunch over… I just tried to disappear.”

Eventually, she says, it contributed to her leaving the show. So heartbreaking. We’d love to say she’d be getting treated much better now. And while there for sure would be a lot more vocal love, there’d be neverending awfulness all over social media, too. Ugh. Speaking on her experience in show business more generally, she explained:

“Hollywood will mess your head up. And I had always thought, ‘I want to be a famous actress.’ I thought that meant that you would be a famous and well-respected actress, but that’s not what it meant. And the moment I became famous, it was like, ‘Oh no, no, no. This is not what I had in mind at all. I don’t think I want to be this anymore.’ But then it’s too late.”

Such a frustrating story about an amazingly talented star who deserved so much better. She should have been allowed to just be happy and healthy, even if she didn’t conform to the narrowest standards. She should have been treated like the goddess she was!

[Image via Nikki Nelson/WENN/Columbia Pictures TV/YouTube.]

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Apr 23, 2024 17:12pm PDT

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