Queen of Versailles star Jackie Siegel reveals that her teenage daughter who died from opioid addiction was embarrassed by the movie that skyrocketed their family to fame and called it ‘the worst thing to happen’ to her.
Siegel, 58, revealed despite the fame that came with filming the documentary Queen of Versailles, which followed the family’s journey of building a 90,000-square-foot mansion in Orlando inspired by Versailles in France, it caused a rift in her family.
Some even speculated that the pressures of being on TV may have contributed to Jackie’s daughter Victoria’s turn to drugs as the filming started when she was just 12.
Siegel and her 84-year-old time share mogul husband David starred in the show along with their eight kids.
‘She was embarrassed by it, and she was also going through a kind of a bad period in her life, weight-wise,’ David says to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. ‘Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong.’
Jackie Siegel revealed that her daughter Victoria, who died of a drug overdose at the age of 18 in 2015, hated shooting for their film Queen of Versailles
Jackie shared this photo celebrating her twin daughters’ birthdays on October 20. Jackie, her husband and their eight children rose to fame during the firming of the movie Queen of Versailles, which followed their efforts to build a Versailles-inspired mansion in Florida
‘She was embarrassed by it, and she was also going through a kind of a bad period in her life, weight-wise,’ David said on his daughter Victoria and her feelings about filming Queen of Versailles . ‘Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong’
At the age of 18 Victoria tragically died by overdosing on methadone and antidepressants on June 6, 2015. Jackie published her daughter’s diary detailing her struggle with addiction in March, which was Victoria’s last wish.
‘In her diary, she said the worst thing that had happened to her was the movie Queen of Versailles,’ Jackie said.
The family rose to fame in the documentary where they chased the American dream and tried to build a modern Versailles palace in suburban Florida
‘When the camera people were around, David would try to lock up somewhere and hide. He had no interest in it or being with them, either. It was hard for them to catch any normal family interaction.’
David went further to say the documentary wasn’t completely accurate, in fact he says just 25 percent of it was true.
‘During that same time we were going through the recession, so between business pressure and these film people showing up unexpected. … I would throw them out, and Jackie would bring them back in. They would show up on holidays and birthdays and on Christmas. It was a bad period. Then they showed the company in a bad light. Only about 25 percent of the film was accurate,’ he said.
In 2012 the film was finally released, but things only became more complicated for Victoria with the fame.
‘Once the movie came out, she was treated totally differently at school. People used her to buy the drugs or to get money from her, and since they knew now that she was rich, it was like, “Oh, she’s got the rich parents,” even though she never cared about our money,’ Jackie said.
Victoria’s battle with addiction saw her abuse Xanax then turn to harder opiates.
‘Let me tell you how she got on Xanax: She was a typical, mixed-up teenager, so we sent her to a psychiatrist for counseling and when she came home, she said, ‘He put me on Xanax,’ David said.
‘A few months later, she was mixed up and was not doing well in high school, so we sent her back, and she said, “He doubled my dosage,”‘ he added.
‘In her diary, she said the worst thing that had happened to her was the movie Queen of Versailles,’ Jackie said
Jackie and her family, including Victoria, were featured on Celebrity Wife Swap (pictured) in 2015, just months before her daughter’s death
The Siegel family pictured gathered at Victoria’s gravestone this year
Victoria overdosed on methadone and antidepressants on June 6, 2015 while home alone as her family attended a Utah wedding. She was fresh out of rehab at the time
‘I was so ignorant. I didn’t know Xanax from Advil. I had no idea what it was or what it does. We had never even seen a marijuana cigarette in our lives, or had ever used a drug, and here she is, struggling with that Queen of Versailles movie. It was a perfect storm.’
The day of Victoria’s death, her family said she received ‘cruel’ texts from the ex-girlfriend of her then-boyfriend, who supposedly encouraged her to try out hard opiates.
They also published Victoria’s diary to raise awareness about youth drug addiction
While the family continues to mourn the loss of their daughter, they have dedicated the rest of their lives to raising awareness on the opioid epidemic.
The Seigels not only published Victoria’s diary to raise awareness about drug addiction, but they’ve also created the Victoria Siegel Foundation in her name that helps address teenage drug abuse and will throw their annual ‘An Evening to Save Lives’ benefit gala this Friday.
The couple also are active advocates for legislation that would require people to lock up their prescription medications and are pushing for a law that would require doctors to prescribe the life-saving medication naloxone for patients given prescriptions for pain-relief drugs.
‘When she overdosed, she was still alive. By the time she got to the hospital, she had died. I am a big advocate that if a family has a child who might be using drugs, they should have Narcan in their homes,’ David said.
He shared a statistic that 200 people die each day from drug overdoses, adding ‘It’s like a jetliner with 200 passengers crashing, every day.’
The unfinished Versailles mansion in Windemere, Florida pictured above. The opulent future 90,000-square-foot mansion started construction in 2004 and will feature a roller rink and discotheque, nine kitchens, 30 bathrooms and 14 bedrooms
Aside from their charity work, the couple is also developing a movie about their daughter called Victoria’s Voice that will serve as a warning to other young people about the dangers of opioids.
‘My only direction to them was that I wanted it to be like Schindler’s List, and when the movie is over, I don’t want people clapping. I want them to really get the message and solemnly walk out. They are going to show Victoria as a sweet, wonderful, beautiful 18-year-old girl who dies when she shouldn’t have,’ David said on the film.
‘I just wish that she would have been open with us instead of keeping it all in her diary. I wish she would have leaned on my shoulder and opened her heart with all her internal struggles,’ Jackie reflected on her daughter.