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At age 14, Bijou Phillips was legally emancipated from her parents and began living in a New York City apartment on her own. “When I came to New York, I was like, ‘Bye-bye childhood,'” Phillips told Paper. Her wild antics soon made her a tabloid darling, and on “The Howard Stern Show” in 2000, she said that she began experimenting with various drugs, including acid and cocaine. She told Howard Stern that she did heroin for three days after trying it for the first time, but claimed that she lied to her father, John Phillips, about being addicted to the drug; she just wanted to get out of trouble for running up a $6,000 balance on his credit card. Bijou knew he would send her to rehab, and she’d be off the hook.
However, Bijou told Paper a different story, saying she sought her dad’s help because she was left shaken after one of her friends, photographer Davide Sorrenti, died of a drug overdose in 1997. She attended his funeral and recalled Sorrenti’s mother telling her, “Bijou, whenever you take a pill to keep you awake or to pass out, just remember that my baby is dead.” This made her break down and cry until her nose bled.
After actor Brad Renfro died of a drug overdose in 2008, Phillips told MTV News she’d known him since they were children and considered him a brother. They also worked together on the movies “Tart” and “Bully.”