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All About Drew Barrymore's Relationship with Her Mom Jaid Barrymore

Drew Barrymore became emancipated from her mother Jaid at the age of 14

<p>Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty</p> Jaid Barrymore and Drew Barrymore.

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty

Jaid Barrymore and Drew Barrymore.

Drew Barrymore and her mother, Jaid Barrymore, have had a complicated relationship over the years.

As a child actress raised by a single mother, Drew — the only child of late actor John Drew Barrymore and once-aspiring actress Jaid — has spoken publicly about partying with her mother from a young age (with Jaid even bringing a 9-year-old Drew to Studio 54). Her unconventional upbringing reached its peak when Drew was granted emancipation from her parents at the age of 14. Shortly after, she cut her mother out of her life.

Severing ties with her mother at such a young age was “the worst pain I’ve ever known,” Drew later revealed on The Howard Stern Show in 2021. Their relationship remained difficult well into Drew’s adult life — even as she became a mother herself. (The actress shares daughters Olive and Frankie with ex-husband Will Kopelman.)

“It’s the hardest subject in my life,” Drew told Marie Claire about her mother in 2014 when the two were still estranged. “I’ve never just been angry with her. I’ve always felt guilt and empathy and utter sensitivity. But we can’t really be in each other's lives at this point.”

Related: Drew Barrymore's 2 Kids: All About Olive and Frankie

Drew and Jaid eventually found peace, however. “I feel goodness toward my mom. I feel empathy and understanding,” she told Howard Stern in March 2021.

From their ups and downs over the years to their current mother-daughter bond, here’s everything to know about Drew Barrymore’s relationship with her mother, Jaid Barrymore.

Drew was raised by Jaid as a single mother

<p>Yvonne Hemsey/Getty</p> Drew Barrymore poses for a photograph June 8, 1982 with her mother Jaid Barrymore in New York City.

Yvonne Hemsey/Getty

Drew Barrymore poses for a photograph June 8, 1982 with her mother Jaid Barrymore in New York City.

Drew was born on Feb. 22, 1975, to John Drew and Jaid — and while her parents didn’t officially divorce until 1984, Drew’s father wasn’t in the picture from the time she was very young. Despite his absence, Drew reported "somehow" having “zero baggage or dad issues” in an Instagram post about her late father in June 2020.

“My mom chose a wild card for my dad,” Drew wrote on social media about her father, who died in 2004. “I think I would have liked to have a dad who didn’t look so out there. Or who stayed. Or was capable of anything really. But his wildness runs through me.”

Drew’s relationship with her mother, though, was complicated from a young age. As a single mother, Jaid worked as a waitress six nights a week to support herself and Drew — but Drew viewed her mother’s efforts as abandonment.

It was “another parent who didn’t care about me,” Drew told PEOPLE in 1989.

But in her 2015 memoir Wildflower, Drew had a more sympathetic view of her mother.

“I was born in 1975 to a single mother who was doing her best while still being young herself,” Drew wrote. “It is not who I am to harbor any anger for the fact that our life together was so incredibly unorthodox.”

Jaid was involved in Drew’s acting career from a young age

<p>Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty</p> Drew Barrymore and mother Jaid Barrymore attend 55th Annual Academy Awards on April 11, 1983.

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty

Drew Barrymore and mother Jaid Barrymore attend 55th Annual Academy Awards on April 11, 1983.

When Drew began acting as a child (famously appearing in 1982’s E.T. as a 7-year-old), her mother, Jaid, abandoned her own career to focus solely on her daughter’s. Jaid took over as manager for Drew, involving herself in every aspect of Drew’s booming acting career — from reading scripts to attending auditions.

But, growing up, Drew did not appreciate her mother’s involvement in her line of work. In fact, it came to be a major point of contention in their relationship when she was younger, she revealed to PEOPLE in 1989.

“I came to resent her because it seemed so much [of her] life and career was invested in me,” Drew shared at the time.

But as Drew grew older and matured, she came to view her mother’s dedication to her acting career in a different light. “What I never realized was my mom changed her life so I could continue doing something I loved,” she said.

Jaid would party with Drew when she was a young girl

<p>Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection/Getty</p> Drew Barrymore and Jaid Barrymore.

Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection/Getty

Drew Barrymore and Jaid Barrymore.

One example of Jaid and Drew’s unconventional mother-daughter relationship was the fact that Drew would frequently party with her mother and her mother’s friends — despite being just a young girl herself, Drew revealed to The Guardian in 2015.

By 8 years old, Drew was going out with Jaid up to five nights a week, she shared. Then, when she was just 9, Drew was seen accompanying her mother to the famous New York nightclub Studio 54 — where she was reportedly exposed to drugs and encouraged to dance with other young male actors, according to The Guardian.

In 2018, Drew opened up about her childhood partying days to the late Norm Macdonald on his Netflix show Norm Macdonald Has a Show.

“I had a mom, but she was more like my best friend,” Drew told Macdonald. “She was like, ‘Do you want to go to school and get bullied all day, or do you want to go to Studio 54?’ And I was like, ‘Yes, absolutely!’ ”

Drew became legally emancipated from her parents at 14

<p>Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection/Getty</p> Jaid Barrymore and Drew Barrymore during the "Pacific Heights" Los Angeles Premiere.

Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection/Getty

Jaid Barrymore and Drew Barrymore during the "Pacific Heights" Los Angeles Premiere.

When Drew became a teenager, her turbulent relationship with her mother came to a head when Jaid had her placed in a psychiatric ward at 13 years old. “I was going to clubs and not going to school and stealing my mom’s car and, you know, I was out of control,” Drew reflected during a 2021 appearance on The Howard Stern Show.

Drew spent 18 months in the psychiatric facility, and when she was 14, she successfully became an emancipated minor — making her a legal adult with the same rights and privileges as an 18-year-old. At the time, Drew told PEOPLE that she had sought emancipation so that her work hours wouldn’t be governed by child labor law restrictions.

“That’s a big consideration when people are casting you,” she said at the time.

Decades later, Drew wrote more about her emancipation from her parents in her 2015 memoir Wildflower. According to Drew, it was a way to restart her acting career following her time spent in a psychiatric ward.

“Work was a very positive thing in my life, and sadly it had been taken away because my mother also put me in an institution because she felt helpless,” Drew wrote. “But when people found out, they just wrote me off as damaged goods, and I sadly understood that.”

She added, “I was never unprofessional, but I was on a hiatus from being employable.”

Drew went on to describe her emancipation as starting her life over, on her “own terms” — a move that her mother, Jaid, fully supported, she added.

Jaid and Drew had a strained relationship for decades

<p>Betty Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty</p> Drew Barrymore and Jaid Barrymore attend the Young Musicians Foundation's Second Annual Celebrity Mother/Daughter Fashion Show on March 10, 1983.

Betty Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty

Drew Barrymore and Jaid Barrymore attend the Young Musicians Foundation's Second Annual Celebrity Mother/Daughter Fashion Show on March 10, 1983.

Following her emancipation, Drew and her mother became estranged for many years.

“We parted ways when I was fourteen, and we have rarely spoken since,” Drew wrote in Wildflower.

Despite spending many years not on speaking terms, Drew revealed in her memoir that she still supported her mother financially and ensured that she was “taken care of.”

“I am grateful to this woman for bringing me into this world, and it would crush me to know she was in need anywhere,” Drew wrote. “It is not who I am to harbor any anger for the fact that our life together was so incredibly unorthodox.”

Drew elaborated on her complicated relationship with her mother in a 2023 Vulture profile, revealing that — despite their history — she would always care for Jaid and wished her no ill-will.

“I actually want her to be happy and thrive and be healthy,” Drew told Vulture.

She continued, “I do care. I’ll never not care. I don’t know if I’ve ever known how to fully guard, close off, not feel, build the wall up.”

Drew paid tribute to Jaid when she published Wildflower in 2015

<p>Kevin Mazur/WireImage</p> Drew Barrymore & mother Jaid Barrymore.

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Drew Barrymore & mother Jaid Barrymore.

Though Drew and Jaid’s relationship remained complicated at the time, the actress posted a tribute to her mother on Instagram prior to the 2015 publication of her memoir Wildflower.

“Today I wrote a book,” Drew captioned the throwback photo. “And as I thank and celebrate many women this week, I must say a huge thank you to my mother. As I say in the acknowledgements, ‘thank you for my life. I am ever so pleased to be here!’ ”

She added, “We have had quite a road, but it is paved with gratitude. #amazingwomenweek #wildflowerbook.”

Drew also made mention of her mother in the acknowledgements of her memoir. “To my mother, Ildiko Jaid Barrymore,” she wrote. “Thank you. I am ever so pleased to be on this planet!”

Jaid and Drew have since mended their relationship

<p>Carmen Valdes/Ron Galella Collection/Getty</p> Drew Barrymore and Jaid Barrymore at the Club Tonic in New York City, NY.

Carmen Valdes/Ron Galella Collection/Getty

Drew Barrymore and Jaid Barrymore at the Club Tonic in New York City, NY.

After years of strife in their relationship, Drew revealed in a March 2021 episode of The Drew Barrymore Show that she and her mother Jaid were in a “good” place.

“There’s just some peace and respect and maturity there that could not have taken place maybe before. Timing is everything,” Drew said on her talk show about her relationship with her mother.

Drew opened up more to PEOPLE in December 2022 about forming a healthy relationship with Jaid after years of discord. The actress revealed how being a mother herself (to daughters Olive and Frankie) helped give her perspective with her own mother — and how she would always be there for her.

“I will always support her,” Drew told PEOPLE about Jaid. “I can’t turn my back on the person who gave me my life. I can’t do it. It would hurt me so much. I would find it so cruel. But there are times where I’ve realized that our chemistry and behavior will drum up a feeling in me where I have to say, ‘Okay, I need a break again.’ ”

Drew also shared that she and Jaid have maintained a healthy relationship by establishing “a lot of boundaries,” she said. “And we’ve taken many pauses in our lives. Healthy pauses, I’m like, friends need to do it, life-longers need to do it, this is where we’re at.”

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