Published: 17:51 BST, 24 June 2018 | Updated: 09:02 BST, 25 June 2018
Carrie Fisher had clandestine affairs with two bisexual British rock stars, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, each of whom cheated on respective partners to be with her. She was just 17, and it was Bowie who “truly introduced” her to the world of drugs.
These are among revelations in a new biography of the American actress, best known as the bikini-clad Princess Leia in the Star Wars series. She died in 2016, aged 60, after a long battle with substance abuse and mental illness.
In the biography, film historians Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince reveal that Fisher had relationships with both stars in 1973 when she was in London, training at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Revelation: Carrie Fisher had clandestine affairs with two bisexual British rock stars, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury
They describe how she met them through Mick Jagger, the Rolling Stones star, and his then wife, Bianca, after being invited with her mother, Debbie Reynolds, the Singing in the Rain star, to one of their glittering parties.
Bowie was already famous with his androgynous persona and flamboyant outfits and Fisher found herself drawn to someone who “had made the world a better place for rebels, oddballs, and misfits like me”. He was married then to Angie Barnett, although he never discussed her during his on-and-off six-week interlude with Fisher.
Porter is a Hollywood insider who befriended many of its biggest stars. Years of research for his latest biography included interviewing one of Fisher’s friends, the Oscar-nominated actress Joan Hackett, before her death in 1983.
Claim: Both singers cheated on respective partners to be with her. She was just 17, and it was Bowie who “truly introduced” her to the world of drugs
Candid: These are among revelations in a new biography of the American actress, best known as Princess Leia in the Star Wars series
Fisher confided to Hackett that Bowie “seemed to survive for days on brain-sizzling cocaine, drinking only milk for nourishment”.
She added: 'Some nights were torture for him as he sank into a cocaine pit of hell… He could be ruthless, mean, jealous. At other times, he conquered his demons and could be sweet and tender, wanting and needing love.'
She also recalled Bowie telling her: 'I’m adored by millions of fans, but I feel at times like I’m all by myself out there on the edge of a cliff that is slowly giving way.'
Encounter: The new book describes how she met them through Mick Jagger, the Rolling Stones star, and his then wife, Bianca, after being invited with her mother, Debbie Reynolds, the Singing in the Rain star, to one of their glittering parties
Fisher described how he would cry for hours, drinking too much and taking too many drugs: 'I took drugs with him. I have no-one to blame but myself for my future addiction, but he certainly led me to the water to drink.'
She often said that her life was defined by addiction and she took medication to help with her bipolar disorder. She had cocaine, heroin and ecstasy in her system when she died, according to a coroner's report.
The cause of death was recorded as sleep apnea, a disorder which causes someone to stop breathing during sleep and which can increase the risk of heart failure. Her mother suffered a fatal stroke a day after her daughter’s death.
Iconic: Bowie was already famous with his androgynous persona and flamboyant outfits
The new biography, titled Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds, will be published in the UK next month [July].
Porter said that Fisher was “so honest in her memoirs”, but “she left out details of her stay in London… and her affairs have never been written about.”
Of her liaison with Mercury, the flamboyant leading light of Queen, the biographers write: 'In addition to an endless parade of boys and young men on the side, Mercury occasionally seduced a young woman and had a long-time relationship with Mary Austin… Carrie said she didn’t want to interfere with his ongoing love affair, but he dismissed her concerns. ‘A bloke like me needs extra.'
Fisher later moved on to her Star Wars co-star, Harrison Ford, and married singer Paul Simon. The biography reveals many “sexual interludes” – including with the former Beatle, George Harrison. Her last marriage to talent agent Bryan Lourd ended when he left her for a husband of his own.
Coming soon: The new biography, titled Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds, will be published in the UK next month