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Demi Moore, Beyond the Tabloid Stories

In new memoir 'Inside Out,' actress reports finding peace, forgiveness in middle age

three photos of Demi Moore from the 1980s-present

Ron Galella, Ltd./Jim Smeal/Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Getty Images

En español | Demi Moore, 56, has been so long in the spotlight, many of us feel like we know her already: her tabloid-fodder romances (Bruce Willis! Ashton Kutcher!), her wild fame in the ‘80s and ‘90s with films such as St. Elmo's Fire, Ghost and A Few Good Men; her perfect figure, famously bared on Vanity Fair's cover during pregnancy. But in Inside Out, Moore's new memoir released today, she offers fans a candid view of her career, loves and family life, including the depth of her body-image issues (despite having that body); the strain of dealing with a drug-abusing, absolutely unfit mother; a deep insecurity that contributed to dysfunctional relationships; and painful periods of estrangement from both her mother and her daughters.

Demi Moore Inside Out book cover

Harper Collins

Ain't fame grand?

You may have heard some of the more salacious stories related to all of the above, but they distract from the more hopeful message of the book: Moore is a woman who — despite her beauty and fame — has had a lot of pain in her life, yet managed to find a kind of calm and confidence in her middle age. She's been able to relinquish, she writes, “the narrative I believed … that I was unworthy and contaminated.”

More from the actress's memoir:

She tackled her drug problems early (then later) in her career. She's thankful for the producers of St. Elmo's Fire (1985), her breakout movie, who demanded she get sober. A counselor stayed with Moore day and night during the filming, she reports, and the resulting many years of sobriety are partly why “St. Elmo's will always be the movie that changed my life.” When her marriage to Kutcher (who was 25 to her 40 when they met) unraveled, she reached another low but went into treatment programs, mental and physical, and got back on track.

She has managed some forgiveness for her deeply flawed mother, Ginny. Besides having serious substance abuse issues and some jaw-droppingly inappropriate maternal behavior, Ginny sold stories about her daughter to the tabloids. “I tried to explain what a violation it was to share details (and falsehoods) about my childhood,” Moore writes. “Ginny agreed, but then she started selling pictures of me instead.” Still, when her mom was dying of cancer in 1998, Moore helped care for her “and began to heal the wound.”

Demi Moore, Briefly

Age: 56

Hometown: Roswell, New Mexico

First big film: Blame It on Rio (1984)

Family: daughters Rumer, 31; Scout, 28; and Tallulah, 25

Upcoming: role on TV series Brave New World on Peacock streaming service

Her three daughters stopped speaking to her, but they've reconciled. Moore writes that her children grew distant when she was laser focused on Kutcher (who doesn't come across well in the book, incidentally). “I was addicted to him, is the best way I can put it,” she admits, prioritizing him “over my needs and the needs of my family.” It took three years, but she and her daughters have grown close again.

She's OK with herself now. In the past several years, which included her 2013 divorce from Kutcher and lots of soul-searching, often cocooned in her Idaho home, she made peace with herself — and even with ex-husbands Kutcher and Willis. Moore now has “a furry family of eight dogs and a cat,” and finds comfort in her “gay husband,” her friend Eric Buterbaugh. She finally feels “like a full person,” she writes, which means, “I can feel sorrow and self-doubt and pain and know that those are just feelings, and like everything else in this life, they will pass."