With intense therapy, Tracey beat her anorexia. She fell in love and married her long-time love, Roby Marshall, and Hollywood was no longer a priority. Then in 2002, Tracey returned to The Oprah Winfrey Show after another personal crisis: Her son Bailey nearly drowned in the backyard pool.
Then, just a few months ago, Tracey was in the headlines again. Just before midnight on September 3, 2004, returning home from a Labor Day barbecue with her family, Tracey lost control of her SUV on the freeway. It veered off the road and rolled over several times down an embankment, injuring her husband and two of her three children.
When police arrived, Tracey was arrested for driving under the influence. Her blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit. In court, Tracey pled guilty to drunk driving and was sentenced to a one-month work release program, 240 hours of community service and three years probation.
Tracey explains that, in her relationship with her husband, she almost never drives and didn't think anything of having a couple of glasses of wine during the evening. However, at the end of the evening, Tracey says Roby told her that he'd had too much to drink and wasn't able to drive home. "My first instinct was, 'Well, I'm not going to drive,'" Tracey says. "Because the truth is, and this is something that people will look at with skepticism, and I understand that, but the truth is that I am not a person who drinks and drives. But that night these circumstances came about and he said, 'I want you to drive.' And I said no. And he convinced me. He said, 'It's okay. You've only had a couple glasses. There's no way that I can drive.' … I didn't listen to my inner voice that night."
Tracey explains why this happened in the first place. "I went against my instincts and my gut because I wanted to take care of the situation. And I didn't want to cause a scene and I didn't want to just be, like, 'I'm not going to do this. That's not going to happen.' I compromised what I believe because I wanted to take care of my husband, I wanted to get us out of that situation, and I wanted to help at that point."
"It goes back to my anorexia," she says. "It didn't affect anyone else but me, and I was only hurting myself. This felt like I was at a different stage in my life and here I am: I am a mother and I've put myself in this situation where I'm arrested; I've put my children in jeopardy."
That, Tracey says, is the worst thing about her actions. "You know, a DUI is not the worst thing," she says. "Hurting somebody you love is the worst thing."
Tracey: Absolutely. And I agree with you…I live my life that way. Things don't just happen out of the blue. It's not a rock falling from the sky. It happens for a reason. [This happened from] not allowing my [inner] voice to sort of just speak for myself. … I really, really get it now. My inner instincts, my inner voice, they're good.
We met Jill, who was celebrating her birthday and getting ready to drive her friend home. Jill says she had three drinks over a few hours and didn't believe that she was over her limit. She wasn't alone…
Phaedra thought she knew her limit, but now she wonders where to draw the line. "We're not getting drunk, you know? We're having a glass of wine and getting together and socializing. Where is [the cutoff]? Is it none? Is it one?"
"Well, for me [the cutoff] will be any," Tracey answers. "I think that you can't make that judgment [once you start drinking], you know? I never in a million years would have thought that my blood-alcohol level would have been that [high]."
Are you still uncertain of the effects of alcohol on your mind and body? Find the truth at the bottom of the glass.