The tragic real-life story of Marie Osmond

Entertainer Marie Osmond has spent almost her entire life in the spotlight, but that doesn't mean it's always been easy. The 58-year-old Utah native rose to fame as a young child performing with her family's musical act, and has been in the public eye ever since.

She's hosted multiple TV shows, performed in countless stage productions, and has sold everything from dolls to diet products, but if you suppose this celeb has had it easier than everyone else, think again. 

Osmond's early start in the business created a sense of a lost childhood, and since then she has faced a lot. One thing that has never changed through it all, however, is her resilience and ability to find the bright side of just about every tragedy she's faced. Read on for the most tragic and challenging situations Osmond has experienced, and how she's found a way to make it through them all.

A childhood full of dolls and tea parties? Not for Marie Osmond.

Marie Osmond was one of nine children born to Olive and George Osmond, devout Mormons from Utah. Shortly after she was born, four of her older brothers Alan, Wayne, Merrill and Jay, formed a barbershop quartet that would set the stage for long musical careers for just about the entire family. At only age 3, Osmond made her first TV appearance, performing with her brothers on The Andy Williams Show. She told CNN's Larry King in 2001 that she doesn't regret anything about her childhood, but admitted that it was difficult at times. "You know, when I was told — can I go out and play? No, I was working. I was recording," she told King.

Osmond became known for her bubbly, cheerful persona and ever-present smile, and she revealed that it "was a lot of pressure" to maintain that image. But, putting her customary positive spin on the situation, she said, "I don't regret anything, Larry. … It's amazing [that] the growth in your life doesn't come from the good things. It comes from the bad things, if you try to look at it that way.

Marie Osmond claims she was sexually abused as a child

Marie Osmond alleged in numerous interviews that she was sexually abused as a minor. She told Utah's Deseret News in 2001 that she was victimized by "people with very temporary access to [her] life, people [she] didn't know well."

Speaking with Larry King the same year, Osmond didn't divulge the tragic details, but she said, "I was definitely abused, and it was definitely sexual." She said the abuse had long-lasting implications in her life, including "types of things that you don't even see." Asked why she hadn't reported the abuse, Osmond answered, "I'm of a generation where those types of things weren't discussed very much." She further explained her silence as a form of protection for her family, who she feared would have been "hurt" by the revelation. "They couldn't do anything about it. It wouldn't have changed anything. And so, you live with it and you move on from it," she explained. Osmond revealed to Dr. Oz in 2018, "Fortunately, the people who did that to me are dead."

Marie Osmond has suffered from eating disorders

In 1976, when Marie Osmond was only 15 years old, she debuted as co-host of the variety show Donny and Marie. Getting her own show was a dream come true, but it came with the pressure to look a certain way.

She told Closer Weekly in 2016, "I had producers take me out into the parking lot when I was 103 pounds and tell me that I was obese, disgusting and a disgrace to my family. That I needed to keep food out of my fat face." She took their statements to mean the show would fail if she didn't trim down. "This sent me on a head trip — that 250 people could lose their jobs because of me," she said.

So at that point, Osmond "starved" herself down to 97 pounds. She explained to Dr. Oz in 2018 that she felt very controlled in many aspects of her life. And she said of her battles with anorexia and bulimia, "A lot of it is trying to control something when you feel out of control."

Marie Osmond experienced severe postpartum depression

Marie Osmond followed in her parents' footsteps and had a large family of eight children. She told Larry King that although five of her children were adopted, she believed she suffered from a form of postpartum depression (PPD) with all eight — which she documented in her 2001 book, Behind The Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression. She finally got help when her PPD became unmanageable in 1999 after the arrival of her son Matthew. "[Postpartum depression] makes you feel like you don't even belong in your own life," Osmond told King. "You weep, you cry, you have no joy. I mean — it is the most devastating thing that I have ever been through."

Things got so bad that she even left her family at one point. She told the Deseret News that she handed her baby to a nanny and said, "I can't stay. There is something wrong, really wrong with me, and I have to leave until I figure it out." Osmond then drove up the California coast and stayed in a hotel until her family eventually convinced her to come home. She said she wished she didn't wait until her son was five months old to get help. Describing the incident to King, Osmond said, "I should have followed my intuition. … You know, after the third day I knew that this was more than baby blues."

Marie Osmond's home caught on fire

Marie Osmond and her family dealt with a frightening and expensive turn of events when their Orem, Utah, home caught on fire in 2005. According to the Deseret News, a blaze broke out in the garage in the early evening hours, when her then-husband Brian Blosil and a number of their children were home.

Blosil was reportedly napping upstairs when he heard children screaming that there was a fire. He told the newspaper, "I ran though the house, got all my kids."

The family's neighbors aided them in getting out, before firefighters arrived and quickly doused the flames. A fire department spokesperson said that one simple action may have prevented more damage — someone had closed the door between the home and the garage. "Just closing the doors probably saved the home," he said.

Fire personnel estimated, however, that $50,000 of damage had been done. Osmond was working in Southern California at the time, but Blosil told the newspaper, "She's very grateful all is well."

Marie Osmond's husband battled a brain tumor

After Marie Osmond and Brian Blosil bounced back from their separation, they faced a new struggle that would put a strain on any marriage. On top of their busy careers and raising eight children, they faced a serious illness when Brian was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor that made him quite ill and required several surgeries.

In a 2006 interview with the Deseret News, she revealed that they'd recently gotten good news about his health, but acknowledged that things had been difficult. "He's been very sick," she said. Adding another layer of complexity, her husband wanted to keep his health issues private. "He doesn't want me to talk about it," she stressed.

She told the newspaper of their struggles, "That's life. That's what everybody goes through. We've been through a lot of stuff. You can feel sorry for yourself or you can say, thank you, it was a wonderful learning experience that gave me compassion for people."

A tabloid reported that Marie Osmond attempted suicide

In 2006, Marie Osmond made tabloid headlines after she was hospitalized for "an adverse reaction to medication." The National Enquirer reported at the time that she had attempted suicide, but her representatives denied that. Spokesperson Amy Hawkes told the Today show, "She basically had an adverse reaction to some medication she was taking and she blacked out." Her manager Karl Engemann said of the suicide reports, "We deal with those tabloids all the time. You get tired of responding. It's like punching Jell-O."

Neither rep disclosed what medication Osmond had been taking, but a week after the incident, Osmond seemed to have fully recovered. "She's doing fine. She's vacationing with her family right now," Hawkes told Today. In a somewhat tragic twist, however, Osmond acknowledged to Oprah in 2010 that she had faced suicidal thoughts during her battle with PPD. She said, "When I had postpartum [depression], I remember vividly, driving that car and thinking … how people would be better off without me." She said that she was able to talk herself out of it, explaining, "It was my age that told me: 'Marie, that's crazy.'"

Marie Osmond's son Michael committed suicide at age 18

In perhaps the most difficult tragedy a mother can face, Marie Osmond lost her son Michael Blosil to suicide in 2010, when the young man was only 18. He had been living in Los Angeles, and jumped off the balcony of his high-rise apartment.

She spoke about her son's loss with Oprah in 2010, and revealed that Blosil had attempted suicide once before, but had promised never to try it again. She also revealed that he had been feeling lonely the day before his death. "It was the first time I heard him start to cry and say he was alone. That he had no friends. That he felt despair," Osmond told Oprah.

On the night of his death, Osmond was performing in Las Vegas and wasn't able to get to her phone when he tried to call her. Later she found out he had died. But Osmond hasn't beat herself up over missing the call. She told Oprah, "There's always, 'What ifs?' I think if you live in, 'What ifs,' you stop living." But she said that every day was a struggle in terms of dealing with his loss. She told Oprah, "It doesn't [get easier]," but added, "God gives you little respites."

A tragic accident took the life of Marie Osmond's grand-niece

The Osmond family suffered another tragic loss in 2014 after 7-year-old London Mortensen died following a freak accident. Mortensen was the granddaughter of Osmond's brother Jay, and reportedly passed away after she was hit by the falling door of a moving trailer.

Radar Online reported that Mortensen's family had been in the process of relocating from Arizona to Utah to be closer to the extended Osmond clan when the accident occurred. A family source told Radar that the accident deeply affected Marie Osmond and brought memories of her son Michael Blosil's death rushing back. "When Marie heard about it, she was devastated," the insider said.

"Marie is just sick over it. She knows all too well how a mother feels when losing a child unexpectedly," another source added. At the time, supporters raised over $11,000 via a GoFundMe page to help the Mortensen family with their finances in order to complete their move to Utah.

If you or someone you know is seeking help and support to deal with substance abuse or mental health issues, please call SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Marie Osmond divorced twice

Marie Osmond tied the knot for the first time at age 23 when she wed basketball player Stephen Craig in 1982. They welcomed a son, Stephen, in 1983 but it was only two years later that the couple divorced.

Osmond told Closer Weekly of her first divorce, "I had a child, I was a single mother, and I didn't know if I could feed [my son] or pay my rent."

But it was only a year later that she got married for the second time, to music producer Brian Blosil. The couple went on to have two biological children together and adopt five more, and were married for over 20 years, before divorcing in 2007. She later told Oprah of that relationship, "I had a very bad marriage. A lot of pain, a lot of sorrow, a lot of trying, a lot of effort."

In a surprising turn of events, Osmond later remarried her first husband Stephen Craig. The two wed at the Las Vegas Mormon Temple in 2011, and are still married, as of this writing. She told Closer, "I know I'll never find anyone I love or respect more than Steve."