Drew Barrymore says she coped with ‘cripplingly difficult’ divorce by drinking

A woman with long brown hair wearing a chunky necklace and earrings, and a pink outfit.
Drew Barrymore attends the 2022 Daytime Emmy Awards in Pasadena.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)

Drew Barrymore recently opened up about the trauma she endured during and after her 2016 divorce.

In an interview with People magazine published Tuesday, the actor and TV host reflected on what The Times once called her “no-muss, no-fuss” split from art consultant Will Kopelman and revealed the anguish she experienced behind the scenes.

“There was no scandal. Nothing went wrong, which is cleaner, but makes it harder and more confusing because there isn’t The Thing to point to,” she told People.

“We tried so hard to make it work. [A friend] said to me, ‘Divorce is the death of a dream.’ That’s exactly what it feels like, something so final you can’t get it back.”

Drew Barrymore and third husband Will Kopelman have wasted no time in finalizing their divorce: The split became legit on Wednesday.

Aug. 4, 2016


The “Santa Clarita Diet” star wed her third husband, Kopelman, in 2012 after getting engaged earlier that year. They share two children, Olive Barrymore Kopelman, 10, and Frankie Barrymore Kopelman, 8. Despite ending things on relatively good terms with a swift, uncontested divorce, Barrymore called the process and aftermath “cripplingly difficult.”

“It just took me down,” she told People. “There are times where you can look at someone you think is a strong person and see them so broken and go, ‘How the f— did they get there?’ And I was that person. I broke.”

In an effort to “numb the pain and feel good,” Barrymore said, she turned to alcohol. As someone who overcame addiction when she was younger, she eventually recognized that her post-divorce drinking habits had become unhealthy.

Drew Barrymore interviews and fan-girls over her 7-year-old self in a new promo for her upcoming daytime talk show, “The Drew Barrymore Show.”

July 30, 2020

“The drinking thing for me was a constant,” she said. “Like, ‘You cannot change. You are weak and incapable of doing what’s best for you. You keep thinking you will master this thing, and it’s getting the better of you.’”

A handful of years after the divorce, Barrymore launched her hit talk show, which gave her “something to believe in” and helped her heal — in addition to quitting drinking and focusing on her kids. The daytime program is now in its third season.


While navigating the world as a single working mother, Barrymore said she found time to date “every once in a while” because “it’s a very human, natural thing to do.” The “Charlie’s Angels” alum was previously married to Los Angeles bar owner Jeremy Thomas and comedian Tom Green.

“I’m such a mom and I’m so under the workload, and I love being with my friends and I love being alone, where does dating fit in?” she told People. “I’ve gone on dates where I’m like, ‘Oh my God, why did I say yes to dinner? Because we haven’t ordered yet, and I don’t want to be here.’”