Long addicted to cocaine, Joana Balavoine has made peace with her past
It is a sunny afternoon in early July 2022, on the large island enthroned in the middle of the lower lake of the Bois de Boulogne, in Paris. The song of the birds, the dazzling light, the softness contrast with the subject of the conversation between Olivier Delacroix and Joana Balavoine. Leaning on a high table, singer’s daughter disappeared in 1986, tells the journalist the nightmare of fifteen years of cocaine addiction, a few months after having revealed it through a comic strip, “Sleeping Lions” (Ed. Wide Angle).
For its eleventh season, the society magazine “In the eyes of Olivier” sometimes introduces the story of a personality, in addition to those of anonymous people. For this issue, broadcast this Monday at 10:40 p.m. on France 2, in addition to Joana Balavoine, we will listen to witnesses who have become addicted to opiates, online ****ography or drugs supposed to treat them. People like everyone else. “It is important to me to free speech around addictions,” explains Delacroix. Comments made several months before the very serious accident caused by Pierre Palmade, addicted to cocaine.
Joana Balavoine, 36, was able to get by. During this second day of filming, she looks back on her fall, as a teenager, into the spiral of drugs, without hiding anything from its devastating effects. “It’s important to go into the details, she explains, because addiction is something very complex. And it is thus, solar, that she speaks of hell. Fear of life, of not succeeding, of destroying the heritage of a father mythologized by an entire country. Until the detoxification treatment in the Pyrenees, the depression that follows, the feeling of leaving the prison of artificial paradises free but with the fear of rebuilding oneself.
“I see so many people in distress, who deserve to love each other…”
The interview will last more than five hours. Olivier Delacroix knows how to bring the interlocutor to reveal himself as he is. In a society of self-control, he seeks the essence of the story. But to meet, it takes two. That day, the two strangers from yesterday seem to have found each other. “Because we share a path, a common test, breath, modest, Olivier Delacroix. “I don’t have TV and didn’t know his show, rebounds the thirty-something, but I watched it and was struck by its sincerity. »
Joana Balavoine says she has made peace with her past. She who hardly ever spoke about her father, who died a few months before her birth, does not evade questions about this name, full of promises but also of duties, aware that it helps her. Maybe also because, today, she talks more about Joana than about Daniel. “I agreed to testify because I see so many people in distress, who deserve to love each other. Drugs are not a life. »
After the comic strip, she carried out awareness-raising operations in high schools, and plans to obtain a diploma in addictology. “First because it would do me a lot of good to go to university and get a degree,” she smiles. I didn’t have that life, and I regret it a little. Then because my only legitimacy is my personal experience, and that’s not enough, especially if I’m talking to young people. It was in the Basque Country, far from the hustle and bustle of Paris, that she returned to life. “I have musical projects, which I carry out quietly, and I have fun playing in a group with people who are 70 years old. I’m on keyboards, I do backing vocals, I sing. Pleasure, without pressure. »
End of shooting. Olivier Delacroix knows the intensity of the moment. “I have a lot of admiration for Joana because, beyond winning the fight, she inspires me. There is authenticity and intelligence in her. The main interested party cannot repress a small laugh, as if to protect herself from the too strong emotion of the compliment.