Todd Fisher’s new book details last exchange with sister Carrie Fisher before she was on life support: Excerpt

There was no way for Todd Fisher to predict the tragedy that was looming.

In the fall of 2016, it seemed as if his sister Carrie was at the top of her game. As she filmed Star Wars: The Last Jedi and made finishing touches on her latest memoir, The Princess Diarist, “she was firing on all cylinders and I had never seen her more productive,” he recalls in the new issue of Us Weekly. “She was as happy as I had seen her in a long time.”

But, below the surface, the actress was struggling. “She was self-medicating,” Fisher says of his older sister, who openly spoke out about her battle with addiction and bi-polar disorder. “That’s what was keeping her in balance. The idea that, at any moment, she could lose control was always a real threat.”

And unfortunately a reality. The iconic Princess Leia died on December 27, 2016, just four days after she fell unconscious on a plane. He was hit with another crushing loss the next day when his mother, Debbie Reynolds, passed at 84.

Now, in his emotionally raw memoir My Girls, he pays tribute to the two extraordinary women who shaped his life.

“You don’t realize how connected you are to someone until they’re gone,” the director-producer, 60, admits. “We didn’t spend every day on the phone with each other, far from it. But we were always there for each other, no matter what. This is a thank you, a love letter to both other them.”

Here, he exclusively shares an excerpt about his sister’s 60th birthday bash in November 2016, which would be her last living celebration.

It was going to be huge. Gigantic. Monumental. Ice sculptures? Hell, yes. Bubble machines? Bring ’em. Mom was so excited, not just to be orchestrating something very important for Carrie but also to be waking up every morning with a purpose for the first time since her stroke.

Carrie, in the meantime, wanted absolutely no part of it. She was busy in London filming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, on top of which her book The Princess Diarist was being released. There was no way she was going to squeeze in a quick round-trip from London to L.A. for a birthday party she hadn’t asked for in the first place.

I was on Mom’s side. I knew it would devastate her if Carrie refused to be there. I didn’t give a rat’s ass how inconvenient it was. After all our mother had done for us all our lives, Carrie could damn well get her ass on a plane and give her the pleasure of throwing her a damned birthday party.

Carrie came back at me, just as hard and just as furious. Typical Todd, doing Mom’s bidding, and to hell with what anyone else wants or feels. The whole stupid thing couldn’t have been happening at a worse time, considering her schedule. The last thing she needed was being surrounded in her own house by a bazillion people and furthermore, she wasn’t coming — leave me alone, fuck you, etc.

The bottom line: It was a fantastic party. Carrie stayed in her bedroom for the most part and held court, wandering through the house to say hello and then heading straight back.

Finally it was just Carrie and me, alone in the house, after an evening of paying little or no attention to each other. I was surprised to see that she was in tears. “I can’t do this,” she said. “I can’t have this tension between us.”

She went on to talk about the fact that a day would come when Mom would be gone, when it would be just the two of us, and we were going to need each other more than we ever had in our lives.

Carrie was my girl, and no matter how much we fought or how pissed off we might get at each other, nothing would or could ever change that. “We’re good,” I said.

It was the last face-to-face conversation my sister and I ever had. The next time Mom and I saw Carrie, she was on life support.

From the forthcoming book My Girls: A Lifetime with Carrie and Debbie by Todd Fisher. Copyright © 2018 by Todd Fisher. To be published on June 5, 2018, by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.

For more on Fisher — from Carrie and Debbie’s final days to their legacy — pick up the new issue of Us Weekly on newsstands now. My Girls hits shelves June 5.

40 PHOTOS
Carrie Fisher in later years
See Gallery
Carrie Fisher in later years
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: Carrie Fisher (L) and Billie Lourd attend the 2011 Silver Hill Hospital gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on November 3, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Actress Carrie Fisher introduces her mother, actress Debbie Reynolds, as the recipient of the Life Achievement Award at the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California January 25, 2015.REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Actress and screenwriter Carrie Fisher waves after speaking in tribute at the TV Land cable channel taping of the AFI Life Achievement Award honoring actress Shirley MacLaine in Los Angeles June 7, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File Photo
Actress Carrie Fisher arrives with her dog on the red carpet for the screening of the film "The Handmaiden" (Agassi or Mademoiselle) in competition at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, May 14, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Carrie Fisher signs copies of her new book 'The Princess Diarist' at Waterstones, Piccadilly, on December 11, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 28: Carrie Fisher signs copies of her new book 'The Princess Diarist' at Barnes & Noble at The Grove on November 28, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Actress Carrie Fisher attends the 54th New York Film Festival 'Bright Lights' screening at Alice Tully Hall on October 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by CJ Rivera/FilmMagic)
ROSEMONT, IL - AUGUST 21: Actress Carrie Fisher speaks onstage during Wizard World Comic Con Chicago 2016 - Day 4 at Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on August 21, 2016 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Wizard World)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 19: Carrie Fisher is seen at LAX on August 19, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by starzfly/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 17: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and her dog Gary on stage during Future Directors Panel at the Star Wars Celebration 2016 at ExCel on July 17, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 29: Carrie Fisher and Billie Catherine Lourd attend the World Premiere of 'Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie' at Odeon Leicester Square on June 29, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Zak Hussein - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 14: Carrie Fisher, her dog Gary and Fisher Stevens attend 'The Handmaiden (Mademoiselle)' premiere during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival at the Palais des Festivals on May 14, 2016 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)
Carrie Fisher arriving at the European premiere of 'Star Wars - The Force Awakens' in Leicester Square, London (Photo by Zak Hussein/Corbis via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Carrie Fisher attends the after party following the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' at the Tate Britain on December 16, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Carrie Fisher attends the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' at Leicester Square on December 16, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actress Carrie Fisher speaks onstage at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Actress Carrie Fisher attends the Live Talks Los Angeles Ruby Wax In Conversation With Carrie Fisher event at the Aero Theatre on November 11, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
Actresses Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher and Joely Fisher arrive at the premiere of HBO's documentary 'Wishful Drinking' at Linwood Dunn Theater at the Pickford Center for Motion Study on December 7, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Actresses Carrie Fisher and Ruby Wax attend Live Talks Los Angeles presents Ruby Wax In Conversation with Carrie Fisher at the Aero Theatre on November 11, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jennifer Lourie/FilmMagic)
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher *Exclusive Coverage* ***Exclusive*** (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
CENTURY CITY, CA - SEPTEMBER 10: Actress Meryl Streep, actress Debbie Reynolds, actress Shirley MacLaine and actress Carrie Fisher attend the 'Postcards from the Edge' Century City Premiere on September 10, 1990 at Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
American actress Carrie Fisher (left) stands with her mother and co-star singer Debbie Reynolds, and her brother Todd Fisher at the premiere party for their new play 'Irene,' at Raffles, New York, March 13, 1973. The show ran at the Minskoff Theatre from March 13, 1973 to September 8, 1974. (Photo by Tim Boxer/Getty Images)
13th March 1973: American actor Debbie Reynolds sits and smiles with her children, actor Carrie Fisher and Todd Fisher, as they attend the opening night party for the Broadway musical revival 'Irene,' in which Reynolds starred, New York City. The music was composed by Hal Tierney, with lyrics by Joseph McCarthy. (Photo by Tim Boxer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher during Debbie Reynolds sighting at the Town Hall, New York City for the School Benefit at Town Hall - November 6, 1972 at Town Hall, New York City in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actress Carrie Fisher speaks onstage at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 01: Carrie Fisher (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 01: Carrie Fisher and Martin Short (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 01: Singer Eddie Fisher and daughter, actress Carrie Fisher (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 17: Carrie Fisher (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 17: Carrie Fisher (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds during Debbie Reynolds sighting at the Town Hall, New York City for the School Benefit at Town Hall - November 6, 1972 at Town Hall, New York City in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 9: Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher and Donald O'Connor at the American Comedy Awards on February 9, 1997 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joan Adlen/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES,CA - CIRCA 1957: Debbie Reynolds attends an event with daughter Carrie Fisher in Los Angeles,CA. (Photo by Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
circa 1957: Family studio portrait of married American singer/actors Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds with their daughter Carrie Fisher. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher during Paul Simon and Carrie Fisher Wedding - August 16, 1983 at Paul Simon's Central Park West Apartment in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Peter Weller and Carrie Fisher during Giorgio Armani Fashion Show - September 19, 1980 at RCA Promenade in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Carrie Fisher, Todd Fisher and Debbie Reynolds during Opening of 'Irene' - March 13, 1973 at Minskoff Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Actresses Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher attend the 2011 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 10, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Carrie Fisher attends the European Premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' in Leicester Square on December 16, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story