NewsWorldJoana Balavoine, the survivor - Paris Match

Joana Balavoine, the survivor – Paris Match


For three years, she has been completely healed. But, for nearly fifteen years, Daniel’s daughter struggled with drugs. She tells about her fight in “The sleeping lions”, a moving comic strip. And agreed to talk about it face to face.

She could have written a book. To tell about his fight against cocaine addiction. This poison which has been his daily life for fourteen years. But Joana Balavoine preferred to entrust her story to two women, the screenwriter Sylvie Gaillard and the designer Fanny Montgermont, who took the time to listen to it to give birth to “Sleeping Lions”, a punchy comic which therefore tells, unvarnished, how the young woman, whose father Daniel died five months before his birth, fell into drug hell. If Joana agreed to talk about her ailments, it’s because she got out of it. Thanks to her will, but above all thanks to the medical world which supported her. At 35, she has the soul of a survivor, the energy of a beginner and speaks with the emotion of the flayed. Joana Balavoine gets up with dignity, speaks to better advance in her life and her musical career. Because, yes, dogs do not make cats …

Paris Match. In 2015, you agreed to tell your family story in Match and in a documentary by Didier Varrod. But you hadn’t said everything …
Joana Balavoine. This documentary was a tribute to my dad. So this was neither the place nor the setting to talk about my drug addiction. And at that time I was not aware of what was happening to me. I was too into it.

I plunged into cocaine.

Who made you aware of your problem with drugs?
Sylvie Gaillard, the comic book screenwriter. And Fabrice, a very dear friend, who is also my music teacher. Without them, I wouldn’t be here. One day, I arrived at Fabrice’s, and he said to me: “You know how much I love you, but I am reaching my limits. I’m not going to be able to teach you anymore. ” I thought if I lost him and his teaching then I was going to lose everything. His words overwhelmed me. This fear prompted me to see a doctor. Then find a place, the Elsa center, free, where nurses and a doctor receive you. I was still in denial, it took five dates for me to understand my problem. At the next session, I said “help”. There, I was advised to go to a hospital. And I went into treatment.

How did you get there? What made you want to use drugs?
I fell into it very young. Cannabis is readily available, it is believed to be cool. So we smoke two things with our friends. When I was 16, I was offered a first little summer job. I accepted. For the next two years, I was in boarding school, so protected because we were often tested. But at 18 I inherited, I was completely lost, I had no notion of the truth as the reality. And I plunged into cocaine.

“The sleeping lions”, ed. Wide Angle, 96 pages, 18.90 euros, to be published on September 1st.

Find our full interview in number 3773 of Paris Match.

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