You may think you know Kimmy Gibbler — but that doesn’t mean you know Andrea Barber. The actress, 43, has been in the spotlight since 1987, when she was introduced in the second episode of Full House. However, her life was very different when the cameras weren’t rolling.
In Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Again, Barber opens up for the first time about what happened when Full House was canceled — both the ups and the downs. While she got married and became a mom, she later went through a heart-wrenching divorce and battled depression — things she wanted to be open about.
“So much of me has changed, and I’m such a different person today than I was when I started this whole journey,” she revealed on the latest episode of the “Watch With Us” podcast. “I think this applies to anyone. Every challenge you go through, every success, every hardship, that makes you who you are today, and I wouldn’t change a single thing. Even those hardest moments when I was on the bathroom floor crying and unable to get up. I’m grateful for that too, because I’m a different person because of it.”
In the memoir, Barber details her split from husband Jeremy Rytky in 2014 after 12 years together. However, she found it important not to criticize him — especially since they share two children — but simply open up about her pain for the first time.
“The divorce chapter was the hardest chapter to write, and I put it off as long as possible because I was just kind of dreading it and avoiding it,” she told Us, adding that she went back to old diary entries which were extremely painful. “I constantly questioned, ‘How much do I want to share? I want to be honest, but I want to respect the privacy of my ex-husband and my kids.’ I didn’t want to throw anybody under the bus. And honestly, today, I don’t really have many negative things to say about my ex-husband. We’re great friends.”
She also points out in the book that after the divorce, it was hard for her to get back into a happy headspace and she really struggled with depression. In addition to her family, friends and therapist, a specific concert also helped to pull her out of her funk: New Kids on the Block.
She was always a fan of the group and even more so when they appeared on Fuller House — but she never told them how much they helped her.
“Oh my gosh, no, I’m blushing even at the thought of that,” Barber said with a laugh. “I was a little embarrassed to write that, yes, New Kids on the Block helped me through my divorce. I’m sure anybody out there would kind of make fun of it, but when you break it down and think about it, it’s a great thing to be able to just put your worries behind, to shelve all of your problems. I went to their festival in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which was outdoors, and it started raining in the middle of the concert, and we were all just drenched. They were passing out ponchos, but the ponchos did nothing. It was a complete downpour. And I just remember looking up at them on the stage, my hair was soaked, and I was just beaming and screaming and laughing and singing and I just thought, ‘Oh, I feel so free.'”
For more from Barber — including her thoughts on Fuller House‘s final season, listen to the podcast above. For even more exclusive interviews and TV news, subscribe for free here.
Full Circle: From Hollywood to Real Life and Back Again is available now.
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