Her guardian angel. Kristen Johnston’s sister, Julie Herschede, died on Monday, August 17.
“Yesterday my beautiful younger sister Julie lost her battle with addiction,” the Mom star, 52, captioned a photo with Herschede via Twitter on Tuesday, August 18. “I know she’s finally at peace. She had the best belly laugh in the world.”
In a second tweet, Johnston added, “Thank you everyone for your outpouring of love & support. It means a lot to me.”
Yesterday my beautiful younger sister Julie lost her battle with addiction. 💔
I know she’s finally at peace. She had the best belly laugh in the world. pic.twitter.com/tZZYlXbZfF
— kristen johnston (@thekjohnston) August 18, 2020
Herschede lived in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, according to her Facebook profile. She is survived by her husband, August Herschede, and their three daughters: Emma, Annabelle and Elsa.
Johnston wrote in her 2012 memoir, Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster, that she also struggled with addiction before becoming sober in 2007. In the book, she recalled drinking two bottles of wine per night at one point. She also admitted to abusing pills.
The actress tweeted in June 2013 that the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation helped her and Herschede along their journeys to sobriety.
“She & I have been through it, so so close, and when I got sober I had to stop talking to her for a long time,” she wrote at the time. “We reconnected after she read GUTS. She’s the only member of my immediate family who has shown unwavering support and pride about what I’m trying to do. So to talk to those patients with her in the back, both of us sober & happy…. Aww, man. I was a bawling fool. Then some guy asked me if I was a ‘Real Housewife,’ and I REALLY started bawling.”
More recently, in March 2019, Johnston tweeted that she “had to stop” trying to help her “baby sister,” telling a fan, “I know how hard it is. … You can’t keep her sober. You are powerless over the addict.”
After winning two Emmys for her role on 3rd Rock from the Sun, Johnston joined the cast of Mom in 2018. She plays a recovering addict named Tammy Diffendorf on the CBS sitcom alongside Anna Faris and Allison Janney.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).