Minka Kelly Remembers Her Parents’ Struggles With Addiction, the Time Her Babysitter Overdosed

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Minka Kelly recalls the first time she met her dad — former Aerosmith guitarist Rick Dufay — and the cycles of addiction that ensnared her parents in a new excerpt from the audiobook of her memoir, Tell Me Everything, out today, May 2.

Kelly was three when she first met Dufay, who spent the early Eighties playing with Aerosmith, replacing Brad Whitford between 1981 and 1984. Father and daughter’s first meeting was orchestrated by Kelly’s mother, Maureen, who showed up at an Aerosmith concert in Los Angeles and spent the show pelting Dufay with Tic Tacs (they first met in a similar fashion, with Maureen throwing peanuts instead).

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Maureen then asked a security guard to pass along a message to Dufay: Did he want to meet his daughter? After being assured by the guard that Maureen wasn’t carrying a court summons, Dufay got her phone number and a few days later, came over to meet his daughter.

Kelly admits she was too young to remember the meeting but shared her father’s recollections: “As Rick remembers it, I had these huge doe-eyes and my hair flailing in every direction. ‘Is that my real dad?’ I asked. ‘Yes,’ Mom answered. I put my head back down, not sure what to make of this guy. Rick softened in that instant and began to recalibrate. Mom looked great, and now that she had a kid, she seemed to have changed a bit — had matured. ‘I like this,’ he thought, ‘let’s give it another shot.’ To hear Rick tell it, he fell in love with Mom at that time and really tried to make the relationship work.”

Kelly recalls how Dufay brought her and Maureen on the road for a bit but also notes that her father was growing weary of the gig with Aerosmith. She credits Dufay with suggesting the band reunite with Whitford, “knowing Whitford’s return would end his own run.” But Dufay, Kelly says, was ready to bow out and embrace a “quieter life.” So with Kelly and Maureen, the three moved to New York City.

That promise of a calm life, however, didn’t last long. “In no time, though, Rick relapsed, and the two of them were caught again in a sticky web of drugs and all-nighters. ‘Maureen was always into drugs,’ Rick said. ‘And the using for both of us just got worse and worse. I loved it in New York, but Maureen didn’t fit in there. I worked hard to try and make it work, but we ended up doing drugs more than anything else.’”

Dufay thought moving the family back to Los Angeles would help, but returning to Hollywood, Kelly says, “was like adding kerosene to their already fiery lifestyle.”

The excerpt ends with Kelly sharing a wild, harrowing anecdote from her childhood.

“Soon, Rick and mom were out until all hours,” Kelly recalls. “One night, Rick told me they left met with a make-up artist friend. ‘I didn’t know she was a full-blown junkie!’ Rick explained. When Rick and mom came home, flashing EMT lights lit up the street. The babysitter had overdosed.”

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