Actress Kristen Johnston’s Sister Julie Dies at 51 After Losing ‘Her Battle With Addiction’

Julie Herschede Kristen Johnston sister

Facebook/Julie Herschede Julie Herschede pictured on her Facebook page in 2016.

Actress Kristen Johnston’s sister, Julie Herschede, has died after “losing her battle with addiction,” the actress announced on Twitter. Johnston, 52, is perhaps best remembered for her role as Sally in the sitcom 3rd Rock From the Sun. Currently, Johnston stars in Mom alongside Anna Farris and Allison Janney.

Johnston tweeted on August 18, “Yesterday my beautiful younger sister Julie lost her battle with addiction. 💔 I know she’s finally at peace. She had the best belly laugh in the world.” Herschede is survived by her husband, August Herschede, and their three daughters, Us Weekly reported, as well as her sister and brother, Scott. Herschede’s father, Rod Johnston, died in March 2018 at the age of 80.

Herschede’s Youngest Daughter Was Born in 2006

According to her Facebook page, Herschede lived in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, where Johnston also grew up. Herschede was a graduate of Whitefish Bay High School.

Herschede’s youngest daughter was born in May 2006, according to On Milwaukee. August Herschede told the website that the couple’s older daughters “love being mini moms to their new baby sister.” He added that his daughters love the Fourth of July because of the “boom booms.” The article described August Herschede as being involved in the real estate business with his parents.

Johnston Said That After She Initially Got Sober, She Had to Stop Talking to Her Sister

Julie Herschede

Facebook/Julie HerschedeJulie Herschede pictured with her husband in 2015.

Johnston has been vocal about her past battles with addiction to painkillers and drinking two bottles of wine per night. In 2012, Johnston published an autobiography on her struggles titled Guts. Johnston said in the book that she has been sober since 2007.

In March 2019, Johnston spoke to a person on Twitter who was struggling with their sister’s addiction problems. Johnston said she had to stop helping her “baby sister” and that she knew “how hard it is to stop [helping].” Johnston also wrote, “Never let someone else’s pain become yours. Easier said than done, I know. But keeping yourself healthy is the main priority. EVERYTHING else will be taken care of if you take care of that.”

In June 2013, Johnston tweeted that she was at The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation with her sister. Johnston said that the foundation saved her sister’s life. She wrote:

She & I have been through it, so so close, and when I got sober I had to stop talking to her for a long time. We reconnected after she read GUTS. She’s the only member of my immediate family who has shown unwavering support and pride about what I’m trying to do.

Johnston Has Said That Growing Up, Her Family Was ‘Very Private’

Johnston described her writing process in a May 2012 interview with Marie Claire. Johnston said:

If I’m going to tell it, I’m going to be brave and tell the embarrassing s***, the s*** like I took my dog’s pills once. It’s really hard-core, bad, embarrassing stuff, but that’s what drug addiction is. So if I’m going to write a pretty book, then I should write about what it was like to go to drawing classes when I was eight.

In a separate interview with Interview Magazine at the time of the book’s release, Johnston described her family as being “very private.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can find help at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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