The name Claudia Christian will likely be recognized by many science fiction fans. She played the strong & sexy Susan Ivanova on the series Babylon 5 for 4 seasons. What I didn’t realize until I picked up her new book was how much more she had done before that series and since, nor the demons that she battled throughout her life.
Babylon Confidential: A Memoir of Love, Sex and Addiction is more than a Hollywood tell-all. Claudia is quite candid about her life and I could hear her regrets many times throughout it. At a young age, she was quite beautiful yet rejected by a modeling agency because she wasn’t thin enough. How many a woman can relate to that in one way or another. Yet to look at her you wouldn’t think this could happen to her.
That and other life events weighed on her through the years, yet she managed to carve out a successful life in television and movies. Behind the scenes, though, she was suffering in different ways. Her personal life was a series of relationships that never seemed to last and addiction seemed to be always nipping at her heels. It was alcohol, though, which finally took hold and never seemed to let go.
Christian touts a program that she says has saved her known as The Sinclair Method. Anyone who knows someone who has struggled with alcoholism over the course of time will be interested in this part of her story. She credits it with saving her life and is quite willing to talk about it with anyone who inquires.
Beyond that, the book is an interesting insight into Hollywood and some of the people who inhabit it. Christian had a 20-year off-and-on relationship with Dodi Fayed. If you can’t place it, that’s who was with Princess Diana that night she was killed in Paris. Christian’s book tells a lot about this man as a human being rather than how I recall the press generally portraying him in the years since his death. She also talks about Jeff Conaway, who also lost a battle with addiction. Again, it was easy to just see him as another Hollywood loser and in just a few paragraphs in her book, she manages to make him into a living multi-dimensional human being I could feel a bit more compassion for. There are other insights about people she works with through the years, and only in a few places does she refuse to name names. Her tone isn’t like she’s out to “settle scores” or anything like that, but rather a candid telling of what she’s observed through the years.
And yes, she does tell her version of what happened that she wasn’t back for the fifth and final season of Babylon 5, a question that plagues many series fans. I still think she was the best character on that show.
I found Babylon Confidential: A Memoir of Love, Sex and Addiction to be an easy read. It flowed quite well and I found myself not wanting to put it down. Her eagerness to try to help others is also palpable and that alone makes it worth reading if you are touched by alcohol addiction. If you weren’t acquainted with her before reading this review, it might not be as compelling for you to read this, but I think it will also be of interest.
For more information on the book or on The Sinclair Method of treating alcohol abuse see: http://www.babylonconfidential.com/resources.htm
Categories: Book Reviews