I really hate this part of the story.
By her mid-twenties, Edie was completely ravaged by her drug use. Her friend Bobby Andersen recalls that “Edith took so many! That’s why she had so many fires, because she was in such a barbiturate fog that it would cause a roller-coaster reaction and eventually she would nod off with cigarettes… it was incredible how fast she could set a bed on fire with a cigarette.”
She burnt her apartment down.
She started overdosing.
Finally, after one major overdose she was committed to the Manhattan State Hospital (the same one her brother Bobby had been in) her brother Jonathan came to get her. He said, “She couldn’t walk. She’d just fall over… like she had no motor control left at all. The doctor did a dye test of some sort and it showed the blood wasn’t reaching certain parts of the brain. She couldn’t talk. I’d say, “Edie, goddamn it, get your head together… She’d say, ‘I… I… I… know… know… know… I… I… can but it’s ha… ha… hard…’ ”
She fell in with a group of bikers afterwards, one of whom said, “She’d say her parents were so fantastically upper-class… she was condescending. It was really ludicrous, because she’d ball half the dudes in town for a snort of junk.”
She started getting shock treatments. The exact number is unknown, but it’s estimated to be around 20. Her friend Nan recalls visiting her afterwards and helping her do thing like sew buttons onto her clothes. Nan notes:
“Every now and then she’d stop and ask, “Is this right?”
I’d say, “of course it’s right, look at it!”
“I don’t know how to tie a knot.”
I said, “Edie, tie a knot, man. You know how to tie a knot.”
She’d do it… very proud… very proud of that button.
She got married, though, shortly afterwards, to a devoted 20 year old man named Michael Post who she called “Daddy”. By his account she “always seemed kind of disgusted” around him. He notes that after they were married “she stayed in bed a lot of the time and I read children’s books to her – Winnie the Pooh.”
And maybe she should have known better. Maybe she was, as Cat mentioned, practically retarded, but I mostly think maybe she was just very, very young. And this, was, after all, before Edie Sedgwick, so parents could not tell their children “look what happened to Edie.”
The last night of her life she attended a fashion show that filmed on This American Life, which is commonly thought of as the first reality show. Afterwards she went to a party, from which Michael picked her up. It was their first anniversary. Then she went home, took her medication, and suffocated in her sleep.
When Andy heard that Edie was dead, reportedly the first thing he said was “Edie who?”
Bruce Williamson said that “I went to see Brigid Berlin… Brigid played a tape for me on which she phoned Andy to tell him about Edie’s death… Brigid told Andy that Edie had suffocated, and Andy asked “when?” not sounding particularly surprised or shaken. But then, that’s Andy. Brigid pointed out to him that Edie hadn’t died of drugs, she had suffocated in her sleep. And Andy asked how she could do a thing like that. Brigid didn’t know. Then Andy asked whether he would inherit all the money? (I took he as a reference to Edie’s young husband at the time of Edie’s death.) Brigid said that Edie didn’t have any money. Then, after a pause, Andy continued with something like “well, what have you been doing?” Then Brigid started talking about going to the dentist.”
I love Andy Warhol’s paintings, and I really think he ushered in the 21st century, but I can never come close to forgiving him for this.
Well, poor Edie, poor Edie. She was such a lovely kid. I don’t think she was practically retarded, but I don’t think you an say anyone that young was practically retarded.
All others via “Edie an American Biography”