Whoopi Goldberg’s complicated relationship history began when she was a teenager experimenting with drugs. As she recalled to The Telegraph, ingesting as many “mind-altering substances” as possible was a “rite of passage” for her — one that almost derailed her life. “I was young, homeless and addicted to heroin,” Goldberg agreed. “I dropped out of high school and into drugs.”
She said that her first marriage was a result of her getting clean. Alvin Martin was her first drug counselor. But they made a connection and got married in 1973. They had a child together. Speaking to New York magazine, Goldberg reflected that the media’s depiction of her “layin’ in the gutter” as a young drug addict and pulling herself “up from degradation” wasn’t quite accurate. Though she married young — at age 18 — and was divorced by 1979, she also found real joy in the experience. “I was married and very happy to have a kid,” She said. “It was fun.”
As the star’s daughter, Alex Martin Dean, told The Grio, the two seemed to enjoy a joyful, if difficult, early life together. Goldberg was struggling financially as a single mom while hitting up against the obstacles of an acting career — they shared a “one room space” and a bed together and depended on food stamps during her childhood. Martin Dean recalled a happy childhood, even though they didn’t have much. Goldberg clearly didn’t need a man for that to happen.
Help is available for anyone suffering from addiction. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).