*As Chiara de Blasio‘s dad, NYC Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, gets sworn into office by former President Bill Clinton on January 1, the 19-year-old college sophomore can give herself a hearty pat on the back. After all, her decision to allow her father and his transition team to out her struggle with drugs and alcohol obviously struck a chord. In what appeared to be a last-ditch political move (For what purpose we don’t know. He had already been elected) a four-minute video that revealed Chiara’s private struggle with mood enhancers was released on Christmas eve. What made it so perplexing was that de Blasio had been so fiercely protective of his children during the campaign; and at one point, even told reporters that his children were “off limits.”
Guess he wanted to do it his way, in his own time.
In the video, Chiara looks directly into the camera and says she got high to deal with clinical depression and anxiety.
“It made it easier, the more I drank and did drugs, to share some common ground with people,” she said, speaking under soft lights with piano music tinkling in the background. “It didn’t start out as, like, a huge thing for me, but then it became a really huge thing for me.”
She also reveals that she believed moving away to California would help her escape the problem, but it only heightened her sense of “physical insecurity.”
“My mom was trying really hard to help me and my dad was doing the same, but obviously he was really busy,” she said. “They were both very emotionally committed to trying to find out some way to get me better.”
De Blasio admits to eventually finding success in group therapy at a treatment center in New York.
“Removing substances from my life opened so many doors for me. I was actually able to participate in my dad’s campaign,” she said in the video. “Getting sober is always a positive thing, and by no means is it easy — it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done — but it’s so worth it.”
In a statement accompanying the video, Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, said they were “so proud of Chiara and love her deeply.”
“As parents, our instinct has been to protect our daughter and privately help her through a deeply personal struggle,” they said in the statement. “But not only has Chiara committed to her own health, she is also committed to helping young people everywhere who face similar challenges.”
There was no formal statement as to what prompted the release of the video on Christmas Eve, a day when many news consumers are more concerned with travel or shopping than current events. But in true political marketing form the announcement was framed as a way to help others struggling with depression and substance abuse during the holiday season.
In the hours after the video was released, de Blasio briefly appeared outside his Brooklyn home and, flanked by the other three members of his family, repeated how proud he was of his daughter. The mayor-elect did not take questions.
De Blasio’s hour-long inauguration ceremony will take place at noon on Jan. 1, on the steps of City Hall.
The de Blasio team gave out 1,000 free tickets to regular New Yorkers. There will be 5,000 seats total.
During the campaign, de Blasio spoke about his own father’s substance abuse, particularly with alcohol. His father later committed suicide.
Watch Chiara de Blasio speak here: