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Delta Burke Opens Up About Why She Turned To Crystal Meth To Lose Weight In The '80s

The 'Designing Women' star opened up on the 'Glamorous Trash' podcast about how she turned to crystal meth while filming the series 'Filthy Rich' after building up a tolerance to weight loss pills.

Delta Burke
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Before she was our beloved Suzanne Sugarbaker on Designing Women, Delta Burke played Kathleen Beck on the series Filthy Rich.

During a recent appearance on the Glamorous Trash podcast, Burke told host Chelsea Devantez that she turned to crystal meth to battle criticism over her weight during the series' two season run.

The actor said it started when she was attending acting school in London. While there, she was prescribed weight loss pills to shed pounds.

But once she returned home, she found that the prescription was illegal in the states.

She revealed that while on the set of Filthy Rich, which ran from 1982 to 1983, someone introduced her to similar pills called "Black Beauties."

"[You would] take them in the morning so you won't eat."
"They were like medicine to me."

Eventually, however, the pill lost its effectiveness as Burke built up a tolerance to them, and it was suggested that she try methamphetamine.

"Nobody knew about crystal meth at the time."
"[They told me,] 'You chop it up. You snort.' I said, 'I don't want to snort it.'"
"So I put it in cranberry juice and [drank] it… and wouldn't eat for five days."

Reflecting on that time, though, Burke wishes she hadn't listened to the scrutiny.

"They were still saying, 'Your butt's too big. Your legs are too big.'"
"And I now look back at those pictures and go, 'I was a freaking goddess.'"

People on social media agreed Burke was an absolute "goddess."

Many fans expressed their disappointment over the ridiculous standards Hollywood placed on her and others.

Burke earned two Emmys for her performance in Designing Women from 1986 to 1991, but her weight remained the center of attention.

This ultimately led to her exit from the show, as she shared she was "emotionally too fragile" to handle "incredibly ugly" criticism.

"I thought I was stronger."
"I tried very hard to defend myself against lies and all the ugliness that was there and I wasn’t gonna win. I’m just an actress, you know. I don’t have any power."
"...when it got to be really bad, and I wasn’t handling it well with a smiling face, my whole body language changed. I would kind of hunch over... I just tried to disappear."

Burke acknowledged that being in her position—one she dreamed of—wasn't at all what she imagined it would be.

"Hollywood will mess your head up."
"And I had always thought, 'I want to be a famous actress.' I thought that meant that you would be a famous and well-respected actress, but that’s not what it meant. "
"And the moment I became famous, it was like, 'Oh no, no, no. This is not what I had in mind at all. I don’t think I want to be this anymore.'"
"But then it’s too late."