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Delta Burke once turned to crystal meth as a weight loss method: 'Wouldn't eat for five days'

Delta Burke gave more insight into her mental and physical struggles after facing scrutiny as a rising star.

The “Designing Women” actress, who publicly battled criticism over her appearance, once turned to crystal meth for weight loss. Burke explained on the “Glamorous Trash” podcast that she started taking prescription pills while studying in London, and upon arriving back in the states, discovered her pills were deemed illegal.

Once on a set, she found someone to get her more “Black Beauties,” and would take the pill “in the morning so you won’t eat.”

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“They were like medicine to me,” she told host Chelsea Devantez. Eventually, the pills became less effective as she built up a tolerance, and Burke was offered crystal meth as a substitute.

“Nobody knew about crystal meth at the time,” she said. Burke was told to “snort” the drug, but felt uncomfortable, so instead she put the drugs in “cranberry juice.”

The “Women of the House” star would drink a glass before going to work, where she was starring in “Filthy Rich” at the time, and then “wouldn’t eat for five days.”

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“And they were still saying, ‘Your butt’s too big. Your legs are too big,'” Burke recalled. “And I now look back at those pictures and go, ‘I was a freaking goddess.'”

Delta Burke starred on the sitcom Designing Women.

Burke is best known for her character on “Designing Women,” Suzanne Sugarbaker – a flashy, materialistic former beauty queen. Suzanne was the silly counterpart to her serious sister Julia, played by Dixie Carter. Delta was nominated for two Emmys for the role.

The scrutiny Burke faced over her weight contributed to her exit from the show. She said she was “emotionally too fragile” to handle how “incredibly ugly” narratives became, and remembered people constantly asking her if she was pregnant. One time, a fan pulled her coat open and said, “Let’s see, how fat are ya?”

“I thought I was stronger. I tried very hard to defend myself against lies and all the ugliness that was there, and I wasn’t gonna win. I’m just an actress, you know. I don’t have any power,” she said. “I remember on the set, when it got to be really bad, and I wasn’t handling it well with a smiling face, my whole body language changed. I would kind of hunch over … I just tried to disappear.”

Delta Burke wears sparkling dress alongside her husband

She added, “Hollywood will mess your head up. And I had always thought, ‘I want to be a famous actress.’ I thought that meant that you would be a famous and well-respected actress, but that’s not what it meant. And the moment I became famous, it was like, ‘Oh no, no, no. This is not what I had in mind at all. I don’t think I want to be this anymore.’ But then it’s too late.”

Burke said she “loved” watching how her character “evolved” throughout the course of five seasons, and by remaining on the sitcom, she received “an amazing character to get to play, grow older and fatter with.”

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Despite that, Burke remembered that “it got ugly and very sad,” she told Devantez of how her dream role on television slowly turned into a nightmare. “We do ‘Designing Women’ and I’m so happy to be there. I love everything. But then things started to change which I won’t go into. But that, combined with becoming famous, that I simply couldn’t cope with.”

She added,” And I wanted to leave, and I wasn’t allowed to leave.”

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