THE public never saw Shirley Temple without a smile – but in private, the Hollywood legend hid a secret heartache.
Her daughter Lori battled a deadly heroin addiction in the early ’90s, and she didn’t beat it until Shirley stepped in to rescue her, says a source.
“Lori had a difficult relationship with her mother growing up,” revealed a source close to the family.
“But when the chips were down, Shirley helped put Lori in rehab and supported her recovery wholeheartedly. She saved her daughter’s life!”
The former child star – famous for her signature song “On the Good Ship Lollipop” – died of natural causes at age 85 on Feb. 10.
Daughter Lori and son Charles Jr., whose father was Shirley’s second husband, late businessman Charles Black, survive her, along with daughter Susan, whose father was Shirley’s first husband, the late actor John Agar.
But few know that Lori was busted for heroin while touring with a grunge rock band in 1993.
“Lori was a mess back then,” said the source.
“She was strung out on heroin.”
In the late ’80s, Lori belonged to the San Francisco punk rock band Clown Alley. She eventually joined the grunge band, Melvins, as bassist after dating their guitarist-singer Buzz Osborne.
She adopted the nickname “Lorax,” slipped into heroin use and eventually became hooked on the drug.
Lori was reportedly hospitalized twice but couldn’t get clean.
In February 1993, she was busted at the airport in Portland, Ore., as she tried to board a plane after a show.
Lori, then 39, pleaded guilty in December 1993 to one count of possessing heroin. A second count of possession was dropped.
As part of the plea deal, Lori wrote to the court: “I knowingly possessed heroin in Multnomah County, Ore., on Feb. 23, 1993.”
According to court documents obtained by The ENQUIRER, Lori was placed on two years’ probation, ordered to perform 120 hours of community service and fined $385.
She was also ordered to attend drug therapy sessions three times a week and was subject to random drug testing.
The judge allowed Lori’s treatment program to be transferred to northern California, where she and her parents lived.
“That was rock bottom for Lori,” said the source. “Shirley was crushed. She kept wondering, ‘Where did I go wrong?’ But it wasn’t really her fault.”
While Lori was undergoing rehab, Shirley not only visited frequently but reportedly arranged for the whole family to undergo therapy.
Today, Lori is clean and sober and a successful photographer in San Francisco.
After her reign as America’s most popular movie star from 1935 to 1939, Shirley carved out a successful second career as U.S. Ambassador to Ghana from 1974 to 1976, and to Czechoslovakia in 1989.
“But before she died, Shirley said her greatest accomplishments were as a wife and mother,” noted the source.
“For Shirley, helping Lori beat her heroin addiction was the most important thing ever.”