Season 12, Episode 3
Location: Porter Ranch, California
Addiction: Alcohol, Bulimia
What’s memorable: How her parents can’t figure out where she gets the money to buy alcohol, the married boyfriend that’s 30 years older and was her customer at the strip club, how skinny and unhealthy she is, the awful way her parents treat her and each other, the way her mom hides bottles of wine in the closet and doesn’t think anyone knows.
Update Dec 2014: It appears that Katie is sober but still struggles with her eating disorder. Her dad has set up a GoFundMe to help get her into treatment. The photos I’ve seen are shocking – she looks to have lost quite a bit of weight and she was skinny to begin with. I hope she is able to get the help she truly needs. Facebook page and GoFundMe page
Official Synopsis: Twenty-five year-old Katie uses her eating disorder and binge drinking to cope with her mother’s secret alcoholism and parents war with each other while her worried siblings pray someone can step in and save them all.
Original Air Date: August 2012
i was friends with katie when we worked together at abercrombie & fitch and we hung out a few times. I was shocked to see this episode. if anyone has any information on katie’s current situation I would love to know. I am currently just over a year sober and would love to help in any way.
Hi, Katie is actually my boss’ Daughter. She has relapsed numerous times and is currently in the hospital not doing so well. I’m hoping she will recover. Congratulations on your sobriety!!
she is actually the women who gave me the courage to seek help for both my alcoholism and my bulimia. today i was hospitalized for fatally low potassium, and I may be re-entering treatment.
I love hate this show. I unfortunelty so relate to Katie. Recovery Katie…you can!!
Katie I relate(d) to your story a lot. Am in a bit of a confused place in my life right now. Love you.
I came across Katie’s facebook the other day while browsing through this site, actually. The latest update looks like she is either trying to get back into treatment or just recently got out of treatment? Hard to tell, but after her episode aired it looks like her eating disorder became the main issue and she has since been in treatment for it. (Some photos of her on her facebook show just how thin she is. I believe her dad had a gofund me campaign.) anyway, sending her positive vibes! https://m.facebook.com/katie.shapiro.338
I just watched this episode and saw her photos on Facebook. She looks even thinner than she did on the show 🙁 I really hope with all my heart she gets well because she is truly so smart and beautiful
I feel so bad for katie,her parents are crap and are not Good for her, they need to get help.im a recovered addict myself of 14years,But like Katie I’m was an garbage can,as well.and I can identity with katie…I thank God for my life, I really would love to hug katie,and hug her some more, I would love to be one of her sponsor,are her sobriety friend.katie if you read this, I think your Beautiful, smart, and I would like for you to teach me how to write,Katie you are worthy,And I have faith in You.Do it for your self,You have me and millions like us ,whom you never met,before that Love You,and and everyday day pray for you,especially when u to do the serenity PRAYER. GOD GRANT ME THE SERENITY TO EXCEPT THE THINGS,THAT We CAN Not Change And The Wisdom To No The Difference.AMEN
I echo the sentiments of the others who posted. But there is one thing that has gone unmentioned and a second that bears repeating–or emphasis rather. Starting with the latter, Katie’s writing is so beautiful. Not in a superficial “I learned to play guitar when I was in college” kind of way, but in a genuine, badass George Eliot kind of way. Get well and share that gift with us, Katie.
As for the thing that no one is talking about… that man who raped Katie while she was in college, f–k that guy and all the others like him who have made any woman feel less. I hate the way our society handles this issue… we are really screwing this up. Not to take it there… but with the outcome of the recent election I felt—as I’m sure many other woman did too—like I had looked hate in the eyes and this time I was brave enough to scream NO only to have him put his grimy, tiny hands all over me anyway. As a society we are so far from recognizing the heinousness of this crime or the severity of the larger issue. And for Katie, that man took so much from her. Screw that guy, he’s not worth the smallest iota of the dignity he stole. Take it back, love, I stand with you as so many other women do too.
Amen, Lisa! It kills me that women feel shame after a sexual assault. No, the asshole who did this to you should be ashamed. You should be angry and rathfull and any man who would treat you like a thing should cower if fear of the fire that that kind of emotional and physical violence creates. Women need to stand up and come together and scream in the face of abusors like the man who raped Katie.
I can say, as she is a sweet friend of mine, she is doing just great.
I sincerely hope this is true. Katie seems like such a beautiful soul. Praying for her wellness.
I hope Katie is doing well. She’s fighting a two-headed dragon – alcoholism and bulimia. It’s a difficult and life-long battle. Sending warm and healing thoughts to Katie!
Katie your story really touched me. I can relate to the family distinction especially. When your dad said “why can’t my loser daughter get a job” or something similar I reminded me of one too many situations I’ve been in like that including the one i am currently in. I hope you’re ok!
This episode = my life. Raped, dropped out of college, became a stripper and alcoholic as a result. Also had an eating disorder. Just completely went off the rails. When Katie said she left college but would not specify why, I immediately knew. I saw her Facebook and she mentions sobriety for three years as of March 2017, and school and work. She looks happy and healthy. God bless Katie.
What disturbed me the most about this episode was the smile on her dad’s face while he was telling her what a loser she was.
I just saw this one and yes, absolutely that was weird. The whole family dynamic really confused me, although I liked Katie very much.
A prime example of two people who probably should never have had kids.
well done katie your a beautiful soul that was away in dark but now has lit up a future that makes me want to change my past please remember your and angel and must shine bright in the dark. lots of love xx
This how my mom passed when i was 18 got a call 2 hours after leaving the house after a fight, the last thing (because we always fought) i said to her was fuck you bitch, i will always regret that until this day. I am still fucked up over this i will always love her, we forced her to go to rehab too and they have gave her sonme medication that makes you sick if you drink and she would drink anyway saying she can not stop. I was so mad i hated her for that. It eventually killed her i know she loves me and love her wish i could tell her tho. PLEASE DONT END UP LIKE MY MOM.
I hope you are doing well Katie. I have always struggled with drinking also. So, I know what you were going through. Just wanted to wish you well. 🙂
I just saw on Katie’s Facebook that her mom April passed away. https://bit.ly/2J6BXyu That’s so hard. My condolences to her and her family.
Sadly her moms death was addiction related. https://mobile.twitter.com/BalletgurlKS/status/1127750532817231872
i know this won’t be a popular opinion and i know a lot of my anger is coming from my own experience, but i felt less sympathy for her when she disclosed that she was having an affair with a married man with children. i DESPISE the cheaters and i DESPISE the women (or men) who knowingly wreck homes! i cannot stress how much loathing i feel for these kinds of people. my father cheated on my mom constantly and i hated him SO much for it (and the homewreckers who KNEW he was married with kids)!
But don’t forget it takes two to tango…
oh i definitely agree. i made a point to say that i despise the cheater AND the “homewrecker” (for lack of a better word). i hate it when people only have a problem with the homewrecker and not the cheater. of the two, the married person is far worse bc they are betraying their family, their loved ones, people they have made lifelong commitments to. it’s despicable!
Update on what I’ve seen online, their mother passed in 2019 not sure the exact reason. The sister is thriving in Denver. Katie still struggles with sobriety (I see it’s mostly a battle with her eating disorder she looks very thin) but I commend her because she is still working hard to get better, she made a GoFund me in February 2020 for 5k to get her back into treatment after a relapse (which I don’t blame her after the death of a parent). Her dad manages a dry cleaners/tailor shop in California where he’s known for his great sense of humor. The brother is married living in Washington with their two dogs after a brief career in the military (I think marines).
That’s funny because the dad seemed like a total prick on the show.
I had done some digging and it seems as if her mother had passed away in May of 2019 due to alcoholism. https://mobile.twitter.com/balletgurlks/status/1127750532817231872?lang=en
Poor girl sure had some horrible parents.
Here is a good update; Katie just celebrated 7 years sober in March and she looks amazing. This episode truly touched me, and I’m glad she’s doing well now. Sad to hear of her mother though.
What? She looks like a walking skeleton! So sad. I wish her the best.
This family absolutely disgusted me. So obvious that more emphasis put on appearance than compassion. The only one with any real insight was the aunt. God the parents were awful. I hope Katie is doing well, she was obviously very intelligent and gifted but very hurt.
I found a GoFund Me that she set up for herself in 2020. She wrote a very poignant intro, stating how she is 6 years sober but had a awful relapse with her eating disorder. She is asking for donations to help with her treatment! Her story and dysfunctional family dynamic always stuck with me. So sad to see her still struggling, but she is a fighter! Such a talented and gifted writer! I pray she beats this awful eating disorder and gets healthy! Also, I’m so sad to hear of her mother’s passing. Tragic.
That’s wonderful she’s being open about that! I saw a post from her saying she felt better and thanked people for their help. She really deserves a fabulous life.
I feel for Katie. This was always a top episode for me. Looking at her Facebook she has a new pic from yesterday looking happy, professional and sober from what I can tell. She doesn’t have alcohol bloat in her cheeks which could have also been due to bulimia. She is extremely skinny still, maybe more so. A pic from late last year shows her arms and they’re bone. I hope she can find peace and comfort in her own skin, I know how hard it is.
In another post about her sobriety she alludes to the fact that the photo where she looks rail thin is old. That is all 😉
This episode struck me, because so much of her story reminded me of a friend of mine. In my friend’s case, being “grandpa’s favorite” was a confusing mishmash of feeling loved…but also being used in ways she didn’t feel she could talk about. She struggled with EDs, substance use, and hyper sexuality until someone in her family finally outed her secret that she had decided she would take to the grave. It breaks my heart that she ever felt so alone. I have NO idea if this is similar to Katie’s real story. But if it was, she would not be alone, and there ARE people out there who would absolutely understand.
I am the same age now that Katie was when this aired and I was very shocked by how old she appeared. Her ED and alcoholism had taken a severe toll on her body (puffy bulimia face, extremely skinny, dull eyes, etc.). It was so frustrating to watch her dad call her a loser when his wife was doing the exact same thing and he tolerated that and pretended it wasn’t even happening. So terrible what happened to her in college as well. When Katie declined to discuss what it was I immediately suspected rape, which was later confirmed at the end. I know how it feels to not want to disclose a sexual assault, it’s very difficult to discuss, especially in a public setting (like national television). I’m so sorry for her for struggling, she truly seemed like a brilliant talented woman who just had the life sucked out of her. I hope she’s doing at least somewhat better now, ten years down the line.
Looks like she celebrated 8 years of sobriety in March of 2022. So proud of her! I hope she finds the same success with her other struggles.
That’s so great to hear!!
Recently the city slapped her with a C&D because they tried to accuse her of libel for having the nerve to criticise politicians on her own Facebook, lol.
It also mentions in that article that she now works as an addiction recovery counselor. She also posted on FB that she is eight years sober in March. So happy to see her doing well! <3 Was really hoping the best for Katie.
I still worry about her a lot. She’s pretty open online about her bulimia and that she hates it but is still active in it because of the barriers to treatment. Eating disorders are the silent killers. Regardless, it seems like she’s much happier and more successful now than she was when she was intoxicated all the time and she’s found communities that she thrives in. She deserves it.
She still looks extremely thin and underweight. I pray she can overcome this eating disorder. 🙏