Victoria Siegel, nicknamed “Rikki,” passed away on June 6, 2015, after a long and rocky battle with addiction and depression possibly stemming from her time on her family’s documentary, The Queen of Versailles. She was just 18 at the time, and there is not a day that goes by that her heartbroken parents don’t wish they could’ve seen the signs.
To honor the teen, Jackie and David have published a book, “Victoria’s Voice: Our Daughter’s Losing Battle with Drug Abuse,” about their daughter’s struggle and tragic end. In it, they included pages from the teen’s diary and chilling images and poems she illustrated while battling her demons.
In an emotional interview with ABC news, the parents open up about Victoria’s secret life as a recluse addict and divulge the last words she wrote them before her death. They also reveal their new mission: to stop the opioid crisis once and for all.
Jackie says Victoria was a happy girl up until she turned 15 and the family got involved in The Queen of Versailles. She began to suffer from anxiety and to be bullied in school about her weight and her wealthy family’s lifestyle.
“That was kind of the beginning of the end for Victoria. That movie embarrassed her, she was kind of on the chubby side at the time,” says David in the interview.
He added that the teen started going on crash diets to slim down.
“The bullying was very difficult for her and I have a feeling that’s why she started experimenting with drugs,” says Jackie.
Looking back, Jackie says there were many red flags in Victoria’s behavior. Towards the end of her life, she constantly made excuses to lock herself in her room, claiming she was tired and needed to nap.
At a young age, Victoria became addicted to antidepressants. Though she was prescribed Xanax for her anxiety and depression, she began exceeding her doses and relying on the pills. Eventually, she began experimenting with other drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and Adderall — a habit her parents noticed when it was too late.
“All the money in the world can’t bring my daughter back,” Jackie tells ABC. “It felt like a dark cloud came over our family.”
Victoria’s diary features an entire page scribbled with the word “pills” and the phrase “I love pills.”
“She was obsessed,” says Jackie, getting emotional.
RadarOnline.com readers know Jackie and David’s show focused on their lavish goal of building the largest mansion in America for them, their eight kids and their many pets. Construction of their dream home came to a halt when the 2009 financial crisis hit. Their heartbreak was immense, but not as immense as the pain they experienced when learning of their eldest daughter’s fatal overdose.
“She was a very sweet girl,” says David. “She had a lot to live for.”
About a month before her passing, Victoria told her parents she had a problem with Xanax and spent a week in rehab, but it didn’t stick. Sensing she could die at any moment, Victoria texted her ex-boyfriend a letter to give to her mother, only after she died.
In the interview, Jackie sobs while reading the heartbreaking text.
“I just fell into a deep sleep dreaming sweet dreams and knowing how much you love me and I’ll always be with you. Take my journal in my nightstand drawer. The fat one I always use. I’ve never shown anyone my journal but there’s no one else I would rather pass it onto than you. My business is everyone else’s business now and I’m ok with that mom ? hey maybe you can publish my teenage journal and bump up your career,” reads the beginning of the text. Victoria then goes on to assure her mom that she will always be with her, watching over her in peace.
Ever since Victoria’s untimely death, Jackie and David have focused on bringing awareness to the opioid crisis and helping people in need.
“We never thought in a million years that she would be doing drugs,” admits Jackie, adding that while she doesn’t regret doing the controversial documentary, she wishes she had been more present for her daughter.
David says that the day after Victoria’s funeral, he told his executives to take over his timeshare empire, Westgate Resorts, so he could concentrate all his efforts on solving the drug epidemic.
The two started the Victoria Siegel foundation to help struggling teens and their families. So far, they’ve raised millions of dollars and have contributed to the production and distribution of Narcan, the drug that saves victims while they’re overdosing.
A great part of what they do is also educate families, teens and parents on the dangers and many sides of addiction.
“If I had known what I know now back then, she’d still be alive,” says David of daughter Victoria.
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