“She went through hell. And so did her mom and so did her dad.” Those are Jeb Bush’s rare public remarks from a new interview on his daughter Noelle’s years of struggling with drug addiction. It’s a topic Bush has largely avoided over the years, and in a candid and emotional video interview with The Huffington Post, recorded on his campaign bus as it’s driving, he gave some insight into the the battle Noelle faced. “And it was in a private setting,” Bush continued. “But then it became very public when I was governor. And it wasn’t easy.”
Noelle Bush was first arrested in 2002 on charges that she was trying to fill a false prescription with pain medication. At the time, not only was her father Florida’s governor, her uncle George W. Bush was president and the arrest made national headlines. Later, Noelle would be sent back to jail after she was found to be in possession of crack cocaine while living at a drug rehabilitation facility.
“I visited her in jail. I never expected to see my beautiful daughter in jail,” Bush lamented to HuffPost. “It’s very debilitating when you have a loved one who’s struggling and you can’t control it. You gotta love them, but you also have to make it clear … you can’t enable the behavior that gets them in trouble.”
Bush said Noelle’s problems with addiction began in her teenage years. She is “doing fine now,” but her struggle — and the family’s doesn’t end there. “It’s with you the rest of your life.”
Bush also shared a candid story about a mother from the Boston area who contacted him by email and “ripped into me” over what she perceived as his immigration policy and its potential influence on America’s drug problem. Turns out, she had a son who died of a drug overdose and, Bush doesn’t mince words recounting their exchange, even dropping a rare profanity in the interview.
Read the full story and watch the interview at The Huffington Post.