Snapple lady Wendy Kaufman opens up about former cocaine addiction

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Wendy Kaufman, perhaps best known as the spokesperson for Snapple in the '90s, revealed on Sunday's episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now? that landing the job of a lifetime helped her remain sober after battling a drug addiction.

Many delighted in Kaufman's humorous Snapple commercials, but what few knew about the charismatic pitchwoman is that she struggled with an addiction to cocaine for nearly a decade.

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"I started to do cocaine in 1980," Kaufman shared during the episode. "By 1989, I could press my cheek and blood would come out of my nose."

See photos of Wendy Kaufman through the years:

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Wendy Kaufman, Snapple lady, out and about
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Wendy Kaufman, Snapple lady, out and about
NEW YORK CITY - MARCH 31: Wendy Kaufman attends Psychedelic 60s Pop Op Peace Show on March 31, 1995 at 26th Street Armory in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Wendy Kaufman, the Snapple Lady, and spokesperson for Snapple Iced Teas, hugs an oversized Snapple prop at a promo event held at the Limelight, 1994. New York City. (Photo by Steve Eichner/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 10: Wendy Kaufman waves hello on arrival at the Starlight Childrens Foundation benefit at the Hilton Hotel. Kaufman said she won't be on TV for Snapple anymore. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Wendy Kaufman during The Big (SN)APPLE; Wendy Kaufman Kicks off NYC Snapple Summer Spree at Pier 84 in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
Wendy Kaufman during The Big (SN)APPLE; Wendy Kaufman Kicks off NYC Snapple Summer Spree at Pier 84 in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
Judith R. King, Wendy Kaufman, Abby Ellin during Gotham Magazine book party for Abby Ellin's 'Teenage Waistland' at Andy Morris & Company in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by M. Von Holden/FilmMagic)
Wendy Kaufman during The Big (SN)APPLE; Wendy Kaufman Kicks off NYC Snapple Summer Spree at Pier 84 in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
Wendy Kaufman during Gotham Magazine book party for Abby Ellin's 'Teenage Waistland' at Andy Morris & Company in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by M. Von Holden/FilmMagic)
Wendy Kaufman during The Big (SN)APPLE; Wendy Kaufman Kicks off NYC Snapple Summer Spree at Pier 84 in New York, New York, United States. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/FilmMagic)
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Kaufman said she turned to drugs to cope with being overweight, but came to realize that she was destroying her health.

"I was so sick that it really did bring me to my knees," Kaufman recalled. "I said to God on my knees, hysterical and crying, 'Either kill me or please help me get well. I cannot live like this for one second longer.'"

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After becoming the Snapple Lady in 1991, Kaufman kicked her habit for good.

"The addiction was great because in a way it made me really look at myself and reevaluate everything," she said.

Prior to her 17-year stint as the face of Snapple, Kaufman was an employee for the company, working in the order department. After being tapped for fame, she went on to appear on Celebrity Fit Club, where she admitted to a different kind of addiction.

"I do a ton of emotional eating," Kaufman told ET during an interview in 2004. "I do find a great solace in a bag of cheese doodles."

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At the time, Kaufman's goal was to slim down while at the same time accepting her weaknesses.

"That is why people enjoy knowing me I guess, because I am so real to them," she told ET. "I'm not perfect."


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