“That gift is so powerful and so strong he doesn’t know how to cope with it”: Jenny Boyd reveals why Eric Clapton became an alcoholic

She discusses her former brother-in-law’s alcoholism in her new book.

Eric Clapton performing onstage

Credit: Michael Putland/Getty Images

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Eric Clapton‘s former sister-in-law, Jenny Boyd, has some comments to make about the guitarist’s alcoholism in a new interview.

The former model, who was also married to Fleetwood Mac‘s Mick Fleetwood and King Crimson‘s Ian Wallace, tells Fox News Digital of a time in the 1990s when she had to sit down with Clapton, saying, “It was about giving over to a higher power knowing that, in the past, you probably tried to stop drinking, but you didn’t have the ability, you couldn’t control that. It’s out of your control. And, so, you have to hand it over.”

Boyd, the younger sister of Clapton’s ex-wife Pattie – who was also married to George Harrison – has written a book, Icons of Rock: In Their Own Words, based on conversations she’s had with her musician friends over the years.

She explains, “I’ve been dragging these cassettes around for years. I’ve been protecting them. But I also thought about how different music is today … It’s been wonderful to revisit these interviews, these testimonials. I believe they offer a wonderful insight into the minds of these artists.”

Boyd also discusses her first meetings with Clapton. “I guess I was about 16 or 17,” she says. “At the time, I was dating Mick. Eric lived in Notting Hill Gate, and he would be playing at the small clubs there. So I would often see him. In those days, we were all so young and in awe of music. We always hung out in the clubs to see the bands play … It all felt like we were part of this cool family just listening to music. It had nothing to do with fame.”

When Boyd sat down with Clapton, he’d already divorced her sister, but the two of them remained friends. Per her book, she asked him, “Why would you always drink? Was it the fear of having a sort of God-given gift and how heavy that must have been at times, like touching the hem of God’s garment? To numb out feeling special?”

“I would wonder why he would get so drunk,” she continues. “He said he saw himself like any other man on the street. He didn’t have anything special about him. But I thought, ‘No, he has a God-given gift, and that gift is so powerful and so strong that he doesn’t know how to cope with it.’ And so, he would drink. He said, ‘Yeah, that’s right. That’s exactly why I drank. It was too much.’ He said, ‘[Performing] is sometimes like staring into the face of God and you feel naked.’ It was scary. So he drank to cope.”

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