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Gossip Girl’s Taylor Momsen went down an ‘utterly dark hole of depression and substance abuse’

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Former Gossip Girl star Taylor Momsen has opened up about the ‘utterly dark hole of depression and substance abuse’ she lived through after the death of two friends in 2017 and 2018.

The 27-year-old singer — who left the teen drama in 2011 to focus on her band, The Pretty Reckless — told Metro.co.uk this week that she and the group suffered a ‘lot of loss and tragedy’ over the past few years, which left her feeling ‘very, very down.’ 

Amid the losses, Taylor admitted she ‘wasn’t in a good place mentally,’ and felt like her life was ‘over’ — and was unsure she’d ever be able to pull herself out.

Troubles: Gossip Girl’s Taylor Momsen (seen in 2014) opened up about the ‘utterly dark hole of depression and substance abuse’ she lived through after losing two friends in 2017 and 2018

Tough times: The 27-year-old singer (pictured in 2019) said that she and her band suffered a 'lot of loss and tragedy' over the past few years, which left her feeling 'very, very down'

Tough times: The 27-year-old singer (pictured in 2019) said that she and her band suffered a ‘lot of loss and tragedy’ over the past few years, which left her feeling ‘very, very down’

Taylor, who joined The Pretty Reckless when she was 14, has been steadily touring and making music for over a decade now. 

But things came to a halt in 2017 and 2018 after two people she cared about died unexpectedly.

First, on May 18, 2017, Soundgarden vocalist and guitarist Chris Cornell died at age 52 by suicide.

The Pretty Reckless had been touring with Soundgarden at the time, and she considered the band one of her favorites ‘in the world’ — and the loss of Chris to be ‘devastating.’

‘It crushed me in a way that I can’t explain and I was not prepared for as a person,’ she said. 

‘I wasn’t in a good place mentally to be public. I cancelled touring, I went home. I needed to attempt to process what had happened and kind of get my s**t together.’ 

Tragic: On May 18, 2017, Soundgarden vocalist and guitarist Chris Cornell died at age 52 by suicide. Taylor and her band were touring with Soundgarden at the time

Tragic: On May 18, 2017, Soundgarden vocalist and guitarist Chris Cornell died at age 52 by suicide. Taylor and her band were touring with Soundgarden at the time 

Loss: Record producer Kato Khandwala, Taylor's close friend, died in a motorcycle accident less than a year later, on April 25, 2018

Loss: Record producer Kato Khandwala, Taylor’s close friend, died in a motorcycle accident less than a year later, on April 25, 2018

She had just been starting to feel a bit better and was writing music again when she was hit with another tragedy: the death of record producer Kato Khandwala in a motorcycle accident on April 25, 2018.

‘It was the nail in the coffin for me,’ said Taylor, adding that they were ‘so immensely close’. 

‘He was so much more than a producer. He was a fifth member of the band and my best friend in the world.’

After that, she spiraled, and had a much harder time recovering from the back-to-back losses.

‘That was it, my life felt like it was over and I went very down to this utterly dark hole of depression and substance abuse and I was a mess,’ she revealed.  

'That was it, my life felt like it was over and I went very down to this utterly dark hole of depression and substance abuse and I was a mess,' she revealed

‘That was it, my life felt like it was over and I went very down to this utterly dark hole of depression and substance abuse and I was a mess,’ she revealed

'I was living in this hole of darkness that I was not sure I would ever get out of. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. I had kind of given up on life,' she said

‘I was living in this hole of darkness that I was not sure I would ever get out of. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. I had kind of given up on life,’ she said

Music: Ultimately, though it was 'music that saved me,' she said — and her band put out this album, 'Death by Rock and Roll'

Music: Ultimately, though it was ‘music that saved me,’ she said — and her band put out this album, ‘Death by Rock and Roll’

‘I was living in this hole of darkness that I was not sure I would ever get out of. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. I had kind of given up on life, I’d given up on everything at that point — I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make music again. I’d given up as a person. It was very dark.’ 

Flashback: In 2010 (pictured), when Taylor was still just a teenager, she swore she'd never go too crazy with drugs, though she had experimented

Flashback: In 2010 (pictured), when Taylor was still just a teenager, she swore she’d never go too crazy with drugs, though she had experimented

Ultimately, though it was ‘music that saved me,’ she said.

‘I know it sounds really cliche but it was rock and roll and music that pulled me out of it and I eventually got to a place where I could start listening to records again,’ she added.

She and her bandmates Ben Phillips, Mark Damon, and Jamie Perkins worked on a new album for the first time without Kato, calling it ‘Death by Rock and Roll.’

‘I was at the brink of death, and I had to make a decision at some point, which was death or move forward,’ she said.

Though she expected to have ‘wounds’ and ‘scars’ from that time for the rest of her life, she is learning ‘how to live with that pain.’    

In 2010, when Taylor was still just a teenager, she swore she’d never go too crazy with drugs, though she had experimented. 

‘I’ve had a lot of bad experiences, and whether that’s from sex or drugs or something else, they are adult experiences that would f**k anyone up,’ she told Spin magazine.

Done with this! Taylor admitted to Metro that she was 'happiest' when she quit the show to turn her attention to music full time (pictured in 2007)

Launched to fame: Taylor's first major role was in The Grinch in 2000

Done with this! Taylor, who shot to fame in The Grinch in 2000 (right), said she was ‘happiest’ when she quit Gossip Girl (left) and acting to turn her attention to music full time

But, she added, ‘I’m not a drug addict, a crazy f***ing psycho who’s gonna end up in the gutter next week, or a rebel. I’m figuring out who I am and what I want to be doing.’ 

As for Gossip Girl, Taylor admitted to Metro that she was ‘happiest’ when she quit the show to turn her attention to music full time.

That comes as no surprise to fans of the series, who may recall Taylor’s outspokenness about wanting to leave all those years ago.

Now, however, she said she can look back at her time there in a new light, realizing for the first time ‘what a cultural impact that show had.’

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