Twenty-six years after Lucille Ball's death, transcripts of her interviews with a psychologist are shedding new light on her private struggles.
In its Nov. 23 issue, on newsstands now, Closer Weekly speaks exclusively with psychologist Dr. John T Chirban, who is sharing candid transcripts from his hours of private sessions with the legendary star that took place at her home from 1980 to 1982.
One of the most heartbreaking revelations? Lucy had two children with her on-screen and offscreen husband, Desi Arnaz, but admitted to Dr. Chirban that she suffered two heartbreaking miscarriages. “I lost two [children],” Lucy admitted about her miscarriages. “And I had two.”
“I had children very late in life, making you appreciate them even more,” explained the star to Dr. Chirban.
Lucille and Desi in 1952.
In the transcripts of these candid conversations, provided to Closer Weekly by Dr. Chirban, Lucy also talked about shocking secrets from her marriage to Desi, and revealed how she struggled to save her son, Desi Jr., from addiction.
Lucy explains that the early days of filming I Love Lucy with on-screen and offscreen husband Desi while balancing the needs of her young family were among the happiest of her life. “I had babies and went to work and enjoyed my work,” she confided to the Harvard psychologist, who interviewed her for his course on Women and Motivational Success.
But that bliss didn’t last and Lucy opened up to Dr. Chirban in a manner she never did with anyone else. Lucy confided: “Desi did nothing in moderation — booze, broads and gambling. It sounds vulgar and that’s what it was.”
Lucille with children Lucie and Desi in 1965.
When her children were older (7 and 9 at the time) they began asking questions about Desi's absence and she forced herself to face the brutal truth. “They were asking questions, and I got fed up with saying, ‘Daddy isn’t feeling well.’ I didn’t want to have to explain it,” she said in the transcripts. Desi “just would not take care of himself. He never honored our marriage. It took me a long time to realize it was a lost cause.”
Dr. Chirban tells Closer that he praises the way Lucy handled the breakup. “Her support of Desi’s role as her children’s father is a model for divorced parents to see beyond their hurt and sadness and in the best interests of their children.”
For more from the psychologist transcripts with Lucille Ball, including new details inside her struggle to save her son, Desi Jr., from addiction, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly — on stands now!