Delta Burke's Meth Use During 'Filthy Rich'

Delta Burke opens up about her struggles with fame.

by Nouman Rasool
Delta Burke's Meth Use During 'Filthy Rich'
© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Delta Burke, renowned for her role in "Designing Women," recently shared candid details about the pressures of fame and its effects on her body image, which she discussed on the "Glamorous Trash: A Celebrity Memoir Podcast." At 67, Burke reflects on the challenges she faced during her peak years of popularity, revealing how the industry’s scrutiny led her to substance abuse, as detailed in her 1998 memoir, "Delta Style: Eve Wasn't a Size 6 and Neither Am I." Burke described herself as "emotionally too fragile" to cope with the harsh realities of fame, especially when dealing with negative encounters with fans.

"I thought I was stronger. I tried very hard to defend myself against lies and all the ugliness that was there, and I wasn’t gonna win. I’m just an actress. I don’t have any power," she expressed. The actress noted the disillusionment that followed her rise to stardom: "Hollywood will mess your head up.

And I had always thought, 'I want to be a famous actress.' I thought that meant you would be a famous and well-respected actress, but that's not what it meant." During her studies at a drama school in London, Burke began taking "Black Beauties," a street name for amphetamines, which she later discovered were illegal in the U.S.

These drugs were popular in the 1960s and 1970s but were banned by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in 1965, and officially removed from the market in 1998. As her tolerance increased, Burke turned to crystal meth, a decision that had severe impacts on her health and well-being.

"Nobody knew about crystal meth at the time," she recalled, noting how she would mix the drug into her cranberry juice before work on the set of "Filthy Rich" from 1982 to 1983.

Burke's Body Image Battle

Reflecting on her past struggles with body image, Burke lamented the harsh criticisms she faced about her appearance, even during periods of extreme weight loss.

"I wouldn't eat for five days," she recounted. "And they were still saying, 'Your butt's too big. Your legs are too big.' And I now look back at those pictures and go, 'I was a freaking goddess.' " Burke’s experience highlights a poignant issue within the entertainment industry, emphasizing the need for a healthier, more supportive environment for artists.

"I wish that I had known and I wish that every young woman could know she is beautiful, she's got power and she doesn't know it because they don't want her to know it," she said, advocating for greater awareness and empowerment for women everywhere.