Battling through personal demons and rocky romances, country star Tammy Wynette fell into a deep opioid addiction at the height of her fame. While her friends and loved ones fought desperately to help her out of her rut, her toxic habit eventually led to the fall of her career, and her own demise.
“The danger of Demerol is that it’s highly addictive,” says Dr. Michael Hunter in a teaser for REELZ’s new docuseries, Autopsy: Tammy Wynette.
“She was healthy and fun, and up, and going—until Demerol started taking control of her life,” says Nanette England, Tammy’s former hairdresser.
“We started stopping at hospitals, sometimes we’d go into more than one, until she got as much as she needed,” adds Jan Smisth, Tammy’s former friend and hairdresser.
“For my mom, since the doctors prescribed medicine for her, that made it ok,” recalls Wynettes daughter, Georgette Jones.
In 1978, when George Richey took control of her career, Tammy was already addicted to the dangerous pain killer.
Though those close to the singer believed he might help get her off the drug, he ended up doing exactly the opposite.
“He would sneak her drugs and we would hear him say ‘You will never, ever want for anything as long as I’m here,’” recalls England.
Autopsy: Tammy Wynette airs Sunday, September 9 at 9 ET / PT on REELZ.