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Edie Sedgwick was a socialite and model who became a muse to Andy Warhol in the 1960s.
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Edie's return home was particularly destructive for her; her father often locked her in her room and forced her to stay heavily medicated, on bed-rest. Her mother began babying her as well, providing her with whatever she wanted. Several of her siblings recounted Edie's regression to infancy, noticing her baby talk and child-like play.
During her convalescence, Edie walked in on her father having a sexual affair. To quiet his shocked daughter, Francis assaulted her,
and began denying the incident. He then had a doctor come to the house several hours later to tranquilize his daughter, so that she couldn't talk about the incident. "She lost all her feelings because everything around her was an act now," her brother Jonathan said. "She knew what had really happened, and my father just denied the whole thing. And that really hurt her."
In 1958, Edie was shipped off to another private school, St. Timothy's, in Maryland. Her stay only lasted a year, before her parents noticed her mental and physical health was slipping again. At her father's insistence, she was sent to Silver Hill, a mental health facility, in 1962, which was more like a country club than a hospital. When Edie's condition worsened—she dropped to 90 pounds—she was sent to the closed ward of Bloomingdale, the Westchester Division of New York Hospital. "When I was in the hospital, I was very suicidal in a kind of blind way, " Edie later said of her time in Bloomingdale. "I didn't want to turn out like my family showed me...I wasn't allowed to associate with anyone. Oh, God. So I didn't want to live."
To add to her struggles, Edie discovered she was pregnant from an affair she had off-campus with a Harvard student. She decided to have an abortion, citing her psychological issues as a reason not to have the child. She left Bloomingdale shortly after, to study art at Cambridge, in 1963.
During this time, her older brother Minty was also bouncing in and out of psychiatric wards with his own issues. In 1964, a day before his 26th birthday, Minty hanged himself. It was later revealed that Minty had confessed his homosexuality to his father, who then attempted to force him into heterosexuality. Edie was devastated by the loss. But she would experience more heartbreak shortly after, when her brother Bobby suffered a nervous breakdown. His mental health would gradually deteriorate, until he slammed his bike into a New York City bus on New Year's Eve, 1964. He died on January 12, 1965. He was 31 years old at the time of his death.
Edie moved to New York in 1964, shortly after receiving an $80,000 trust fund from her maternal grandmother, whom she lived with upon entering the city. With aspirations to become a model, she began taking dance classes, tried out for modeling gigs, and attended high society events. By the fall, she had moved out on her own, to a place on East 64th Street, which her parents furnished, and spent nearly every night partying with her Harvard friends. By March of 1965, Edie had met Andy Warhol, who ran a salon he called The Factory.
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