At 60-years-old, Kelsey Grammer has dealt with an unimaginable amount of family tragedy and grief — so much so that the passing of his younger sister drove him to abuse drugs and alcohol for years.
"I’ll speak to the straight of it,” the actor said of his past demons in a revealing new interview. “That was the time when I could not forgive myself for my sister’s death.”
The 'Frasier' star's only sister, Karen Grammer, was abducted, raped and killed in July 1975 when he was 20-years-old. More than 30 years later, Kelsey wrote an emotional letter to the case's parole board when his sister's murderer was up for parole in 2009.
Kelsey's sister Karen, who was killed at age 18 in 1975. (Photo Credit: Splash Images)
"She was my best friend and the best person I knew... I loved my sister, Karen. I miss her. I miss her in my bones. I was her big brother. I was supposed to protect her — I could not. I have never gotten over it... It very nearly destroyed me," he wrote.
Though Kelsey — who also lost his two half-brothers in a freak 1980 scuba-diving accident and his estranged father in a gruesome 1968 murder — said he has ultimately forgiven Karen's killer, he will never forget the pain he inflicted on his family.
Kelsey and his wife, Kayte Walsh, in February 2013. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
"I believe the gift of life and freedom he took from my sister precludes him from ever being allowed to enjoy that gift for himself. He took her future from her with no regard for her whatsoever. He assumed he had a right to do so. He assumed she was his property, and that the precious gift God gave her was his to take," he told 'Vanity Fair.'
Through it all, Kelsey noted he has learned a valuable lesson: "Every one of us is going to experience some terrible loss. I just got a big dose. For every story you hear that’s tragic, there’s another that’s equally tragic or more so. I think you come to look at it as part of life.”