The pain is still fresh. Queen of Versailles star Jackie Siegel exclusively told Us Weekly in an interview on Thursday, July 14, that even now, more than a year after her 18-year-old daughter Victoria’s fatal overdose, “there’s not a day” that she doesn’t feel like crying.
“Sometimes I’ll see a mother with her teenage daughter and I get emotional,” Siegel, 50, told Us in Los Angeles prior to a rappelling challenge for the nonprofit Shatterproof. “I think by trying to save other people’s lives, it makes us feel better that we’re saving other parents from the grief we’ve gone through and that we’ll always be going through.”
The family first came into the spotlight with the 2012 documentary The Queen of Versailles, about the Spiegels’ quest to build the largest home in America.
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Following Victoria’s death last summer, the former Mrs. Florida and her husband, David, a once-billionaire and founder of Westgate Resorts, started the foundation Victoria’s Voice, which helps raise awareness about substance abuse, particularly among teens and their families.
Victoria was found dead in the family’s mansion in Windermere, Florida, on June 6, 2015, after fatally overdosing on prescription medication, and the case drew wide coverage.
“Everyone from homeless people to billionaires’ children are affected,” Siegel told Us of drug addiction. “It doesn’t matter about race, financial status, if someone’s addicted, no matter what, they’re going to get it — they’ll find a way, they’ll steal, they’ll prostitute themselves. And kids are so good at hiding the fact that they’re doing drugs.”
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Siegel told Us that Victoria had been taking medication for anxiety, but that at some point, “she had so much built up in her system and finally realized she needed help.” The Siegels’ eldest daughter then checked herself into a rehab center, where she met a man whom she “fell madly in love with.”
“They had an anniversary, a one-month anniversary, and on the anniversary, he cheated on her,” Seigel told Us of the events immediately preceding Victoria’s death. “And one month, that doesn’t sound like anything, but when you’re a teenager and you’re in love … She overdosed that night. She was trying to get out of the pain.”
According to Siegel, a woman Victoria’s boyfriend had been dating — and whom he shared a child with — allegedly texted the teen from the boyfriend’s phone, which may have led a distraught Victoria to take prescription medications.
Seigel said that for three months after Victoria’s death, the family didn’t return to Versailles.
“We lost our inspiration. It didn’t really matter anymore. Our passion wasn’t in it,” she said. “We put a lot of money into it, but it gave us perspective. I wish I could give up the house and get my daughter back, you know? It’s a $100 million house. And I’d rather live in the house we live in now because it’s full of all of our memories.”