Sarah Ferguson films return from "emotional bankruptcy"

Thu Jun 9, 2011 12:18pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A year after hitting rock bottom in a royal favors scandal, the disgraced former daughter-in-law of Britain's Queen Elizabeth says she is now debt-free and positive about the future.

But it was a grueling struggle back to emotional and financial health for Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, judging by a candid six-part documentary making its debut on television on Sunday.

"Finding Sarah", on Oprah Winfrey's cable channel OWN, follows the ex-wife of Prince Andrew in a search for her own self-esteem as she seeks to rebuild her life following repeated acts of what she calls "self-sabotage."

"Dear diary," Ferguson begins. "What have I done with my life? How did I get it so wrong?...After 25 years in public life, I have lost who I am and it torments me."

Ferguson, 51, embarked on the documentary after being caught in a British tabloid newspaper sting in May 2010 in which she offered to sell access to Prince Andrew for $40,000.

It was the ultimate fall from grace for the exuberant, flame-haired duchess. Hailed as a breath of fresh air when she married the Queen's second son in 1986, she was later dubbed the "Duchess of Pork" by British tabloids.

The answers to her latest quest come just as harshly in "Finding Sarah." TV advice guru Dr. Phil McGraw tells a tearful Ferguson that she is "emotionally bankrupt," and diagnoses her as being addicted to the approval of others.

Financial self-help expert Suze Orman tells her she is "broken inside," and urges her to become financially independent from Prince Andrew. The couple divorced in 1996 but Andrew later provided Ferguson with a free home in England.   Continued...

<p>Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, poses in this undated publicity photograph from Oprah Winfrey's cable channel's six part docu-series "Finding Sarah" which premieres June 19, 2011. REUTERS/Robin Layton and Courtesy of OWN/Handout</p>