Madison De La Garza was haunted for years by the insults heaped upon her at age 6.
The actress was playing the role of Juanita Solis, daughter of Eva Longoria’s Gabrielle Solis, on TV hit Desperate Housewives. But the joy of being on a huge TV show was spoiled for her thanks to cyberbullying, as she related to Elizabeth Vargas on the Heart of the Matter podcast.
The abuse cause De La Garza to develop an eating disorder.
“They said things like they wanted me to die because of what I looked like,” De La Garza said. “It was just horrible, like, ‘ugly fat cow,’ and ‘I hope you get cancer and die because you’re so fat.’ Just horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible things and this was when I was 6, 7, 8 years old.”
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“Reading comments like that definitely affected my mental health and ultimately played into me developing an eating disorder at a very young age,” she added.
De La Garza was a chubby child, and her character’s appearance was prominently mentioned on the series. “This was talked about literally in the script of the show,” De La Garza said. “The whole joke of my character was that Eva was this thin, beautiful model, and her daughter turned out to be quite the opposite.”
De La Garza said Longoria was not to blame, and said she “went out of her way to make me feel special” and offer compliments.
The actress said she is now two years into recovery from an eating disorder, and is now eight months sober after drug use.
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