When Kirsten Dunst checked herself into the Cirque Lodge Treatment Center back in 2008, celeb gawkers (including yours truly) assumed the usually bubbly star had gone the way of Lindsay Lohan, Tatum O’Neal, and hordes of other former Hollywood child stars.

You know the Nose Candy is sweeter than a Jolly Rancher to the Children of Beverly Hills.

But in a candid chat with the Dec. 2010/ Jan. 2011 issue of BlackBook Magazine, the All Good Things actress says it was depression, not dope, that sent her into rehab. Kirsten Dunst In BlackBook Kirsten Dunst For BlackBook Kirsten Dunst BlackBook Magazine Dec. 2010 Jan. 2011

“I know what it’s like to lose yourself, to no longer know the difference between right or wrong. My friends and family were put in a position where they had to defend me, and it was an awful time.”

Kirsten says she was furious when she found out about the drug and alcohol rumours circulating and insists that she drank and partied just as much as any other young star. A fact for which she makes no apologies. “When you’re a single girl in your twenties, yeah, you go out with your friends. And sometimes you drink too much. I don’t know anybody else, with any type of job, who doesn’t do that.

After nearly three years, Dunst says for the first time, she feels comfortable talking about the darkest period in her life: “On a personal level, I would talk to anybody about it, but not on a public level. If I do that, then the next person feels like they can ask me about it, and the person after that, until everyone then feels entitled to ask me about it, and that’s not coming from a good place.”

Kirsten says she used her time in treatment to assess her situation and figure out exactly what she wanted to do with her life.

“I used to assume that I’d [continue acting] forever, and then there came a point in my life when I was like, ‘Why am I don’t this at all?,’” she explained.

For now, Kirsten’s sticking with her Tinseltown roots. The one-time Interview With the Vampire actress has been cast alongside Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund in the film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, opening in 2011.

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