The actress’ daughter Carrie, who died of cancer at the age of 38 in 2002, became addicted to drugs as a youngster – but Burnett was able to stage an intervention and get her placed in rehab when she was 17.
Carrie managed to stay sober – but Burnett feels for Sheen, because he has less influence on his adult son, whose addiction issues have hit the headlines in recent months.
Burnett tells CNN host Piers Morgan, “Carrie got sober when she was 17, so she had a wonderful period there, before she died at 38, of sobriety and great success in her career… She was an actress, she did a lot of television shows, she had a lead in Fame… she was a writer, she was a director and so forth… I think it’s easier when they’re younger and you can get them sober…
“The trick was I got her into rehab before she was going to turn 18 and it was tough love. She hated me, she was mad and so forth. She went through the rehab and we went through this family thing with this particular program, and it clicked for her. It’s harder (when you’re older like Charlie Sheen)… Maybe his dad can’t interfere any more but it doesn’t mean his heart isn’t breaking.”