Roseanne actress Emma Kenney, who plays the daughter of Sara Gilbert’s Darlene on the hit sitcom revival, is seeking treatment for an unspecified substance use, a decision that drew the public support of co-star Gilbert today.
Kenney, 18, who also stars on Showtime’s Shameless, bid her fans a temporary goodbye on her Twitter page, and released the following statement through a spokesperson:
“I was running with a really fast crowd. I was being naive and very immature, and I was doing things I should not be doing because it was illegal and I’m not 21. It wasn’t healthy, and it was making me feel even worse — anxious and depressed. It was just a slippery slope that I did not want to go down. And I knew that I needed to stop it.”
Roseanne was recently renewed for Season 2 revival on ABC, with a return to production expected for August, a hiatus that could give Kenney time to sort things out. Kenney plays Roseanne’s granddaughter Harris Conner-Healy.
On today’s episode of The Talk, co-host Gilbert made a heartfelt show of support for her TV daughter (watch the video below).
“I just first want to say, Emma, I’m so proud of you,” said Gilbert. “I know that the whole cast and crew are so proud of you. And it takes a lot of courage to – we all have demons – it takes a lot of courage to face them, particularly at eighteen. I envy you. If I could go back to being eighteen and start doing things to better myself at the pace you’re doing, I would be at a better person today. So I commend you, I love you and I know you will come out the other side. Thank you for speaking out and being an example for other people.”
In an ABC News report (Roseanne airs on ABC), the young actress was quoted as saying, “I want to be the healthiest, best Emma that I can be, and I know that by going to treatment that’s what’s going to happen, and I’m going to continue on that positive road.
“I just want to send a message to my fans saying that it’s OK to admit that you need help, and it doesn’t make you weak,” she said. “I’m going to come out on the other side, the True Emma that I’ve always been.”
Earlier, Kenney tweeted, “hello & goodbye (for a bit) i’ve decided to take a break from social media and LA for a minute. this sounds so cliche but this town/industry can really get to you. going to re-find my peace happiness.”
According to her ABC bio, the Manhattan-born Kenney began acting as a child, appearing in commercials and the film Epic. She directed her first movie, The New Girl in Town, which was honored as a finalist at the 2009 New Jersey Film Festival.
Here is Gilbert’s statement on The Talk: