High during a sobriety speech — how rude!

Former ‘Full House’ star Jodie Sweetin had relapsed when she spoke at MU

SweetinIn April 2007, former “Full House” star Jodie Sweetin came to Marquette to tell students about her struggle to overcome an addiction to drugs and alcohol.

But there’s one part of the story Sweetin didn’t tell: She was high on cocaine while giving the speech and hadn’t been sober in days.

The confession is included in Sweetin’s new memoir, unSweetined, set to hit bookshelves Nov. 3. Sweetin, most famously known for her role as Stephanie Tanner on “Full House,” details her descent into addiction after the cancellation of the show in 1995, and her decision to finally sober up after discovering she was pregnant with her now 1-year-old child, Zoie.

An excerpt released from the upcoming memoir mentions Sweetin’s Marquette visit in explicit detail. Sweetin describes a drug-filled evening immediately before her flight to Milwaukee and the “few key bumps” of cocaine she did at the hotel before the lecture on April 23.

“I talked about growing up on television and about how great my life was now that I was sober, and then midspeech I started to cry,” Sweetin wrote in the excerpt. “The crowd probably thought that the memories of hitting rock bottom were too much for me to handle. … I know what they didn’t think. They didn’t think I was coming down from a two-day bender of coke, meth, and Ecstasy and they didn’t think that I was lying to them with every sentence that came out of my mouth.”

In her speech, Sweetin said a trip to the emergency room in 2005 spurred her to go into rehabilitation for six months in Malibu — a story that was the backbone of her speaking tour.

“I finally had to figure out who I was on my own,” Sweetin said in her 2007 speech at the Weasler Auditorium. “I am very lucky I got to come through on the other side.”

But in her memoir, Sweetin tells a slightly different story. While she was in recovery during the early months of her speaking tour, she fell off the wagon and began using the speaking fees she earned to pay for her $700 a week drug habit.

Steve Ryan, an alumnus who was the Marquette Student Government program vice president and approved the Sweetin speech, said via e-mail that, at the time, Sweetin looked to be a good speaker for Marquette.

“After reading her biography and proposed topic, the (MUSG) Speakers Commissioner and I decided that Ms. Sweetin would in fact draw a large crowd, but also provide an educational message — that being her ability to overcome her drug addiction,” Ryan said.

While Ryan said he would not have allowed the speech to take place if he had known it would be untruthful, he said the speech was a dynamic one at the time.

“The students sitting in the Weasler on the evening of her speech were impacted by the speech and what she had to share — that doesn’t change regardless,” Ryan said.

Current MUSG President Henry Thomas, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said he could sympathize with both students who feel duped and Sweetin herself.

“Addiction is a terrible thing,” Thomas said. “It can make people do awful things.”

Thomas said MUSG had no plans to specifically respond to Sweetin’s comments about Marquette, since the speech occurred a few years ago and Sweetin fulfilled the terms of her contract with Marquette, which simply required her to give an anti-drug speech.

Speakers brought to Marquette are selected by the Speakers Commission, a subcommittee of the MUSG Program Board. Current Program Vice President Erin Shawgo, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said MUSG members themselves do not vet potential speakers, and generally utilize agencies to find speakers for the university.