Alexa Ray Joel, sporting a new nose job and a much-improved outlook on life, says it was a broken heart that led her to a frightening overdose back in December.
"I felt like I was in a black hole and I couldn't see out," the 24-year-old musician told People magazine. "I hit rock bottom that day . . . A part of me wanted people close to me to know – not the whole world."
Joel, daughter of Piano Man Billy Joel and supermodel Christie Brinkley, objected to rumors that a fight with her mom trigggered the episode. She said the real culprit was a broken heart following her breakup with former bassist Jimmy Riot, whom she began dating at 19. They broke up in 2008, but had fleeting reconciliations. "I was addicted to this man," she says, "and it spiraled out of control."
Joel is in therapy and is growing ever closer to her famous folks.
"It had everything to do with my depression, my anxiety, a dysfunctional on-and-off relationship with my ex – nothing to do with my relationship with either one of my parents," she said.
Joel didn't talkk to People about plastic surgery, but a representative confirmed to the New York Post that the new look is the product of a scalpel.
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"Alexa had breathing difficulties due to a deviated septum and decided to correct the appearance of her nose at the same time," the representative told the paper recently.
The slimmer sniffer can't hurt Joel's efforts to follow in her mother's footsteps. She is now appearing in commercials for Prell shampoo, a quarter-century after her mom did the same.
"Nobody is more supportive of my physical appearance than [my mother]." The singer adds, "She tells me – which I don't understand – that she wishes she looked like me, that I'm so much more unique than her."
While the singer, whose new album is due in June, understands her ad will be compared to her mother's and her music to her father's, she told People she is committed to creating her own identity.
"It's hard because [people] compare my music to my father and my looks to my mother," she says. "And I like to think that my music and my voice are different than my father's and my look is very different than my mother's. Can't I just be me?"