Queen of Versailles star Jackie Siegel is opening up life after losing her daughter to an opioid overdose, revealing she now regularly drug tests her seven children and sharing how the mega-mansion she became famous for has dragged into its 18th year of construction.
The 53-year-old American socialite and model skyrocketed to fame in the 2012 documentary the Queen of Versailles which followed her and her 84-year-old time share mogul husband David Siegel’s mission to build a modern-day version of Louis XIV’s palace in suburban Florida.
However their life of luxury and real estate riches was shattered when their 18-year-old daughter Victoria tragically died by overdosing on methadone and antidepressants on June 6, 2015.
Following Victoria’s death, Jackie and David have dedicated their lives to raising addiction awareness and have changed their parenting approach.
‘We drug-test our kids. We watch them closely,’ David Siegel said in an interview with The Times, adding that marijuana was Victoria’s gateway drug.
Jackie Siegel, who starred in the 2012 documentary Queen of Versailles, says she and her husband David now drug test their seven kids after their daughter Victoria died of an opioid overdose in June 2015
‘We drug-test our kids. We watch them closely,’ David Siegel, adding that marijuana was Victoria’s gateway drug
Victoria overdosed on methadone and antidepressants on June 6, 2015 while home alone as her family attended a Utah wedding. She was fresh out of rehab at the time. Victoria pictured left and right with mom Jackie
He added he and Jackie now look for signs of addition which they believe can come in the form of tattoos, body piercings or indications of self-harm.
David said Victoria had tattoos and scars from cutting herself but he never noticed them.
‘I wasn’t a good father. I did not spend a lot of quality time with Victoria. That’s part of it, too, I’m sure. But if I had spent more time with her, I still wouldn’t have recognized it, because I didn’t know things that I know today,’ he said.
Victoria was home alone as her family was at a wedding in Utah and was fresh out of rehab when she overdosed.
The family rose to fame in the documentary where they chased the American dream and tried to build a modern Versailles palace in suburban Florida
Jackie revealed that she didn’t fight with her daughter after she said she wouldn’t attend the wedding, preferring to celebrate her one-month anniversary with her boyfriend.
‘It was her one-month anniversary coming up with her boyfriend, who was a heroin addict she’d met in rehab. She’d gone to Victoria’s Secret and got, like, angelic lingerie to wear for that evening. This was going to be a real special night for them,’ Jackie said.
‘I knew how she would be if I forced her to go. She would be miserable the entire trip and just have that mean look on her face. And she was fragile, just out of rehab, so I didn’t want to stress her out and was taking baby steps,’ she added.
Jackie added she booked a suite on a cruise ship in the Bahamas for her and Victoria to share after the Utah wedding.
‘I was going to spend really good quality time with her,’ Jackie said.
‘She knew about it. I said, “Do you promise you’re going to go on that cruise with me?” And she said, “Yes, Mom, I promise,” and she said she loved me, and I said, “I love you, too.”That was the last time I saw her alive,’ she said.
Victoria passed away just days before an Celebrity Wife Swap episode the Siegels were featured in aired on TV.
The unfinished Versailles mansion in Windemere, Florida pictured above. The opulent future 90,000-square-foot mansion started construction in 2014 and will feature a roller rink and discotheque, nine kitchens, 30 bathrooms and 14 bedrooms
Jackie and her family, including Victoria, were featured on Celebrity Wife Swap (pictured) in 2015, just months before her daughter’s death
After Victoria died, her ex-boyfriend texted Jackie a message she left in case she ever overdosed. It urged her mother to find and publish her diary in her bedside drawer, where she detailed how she struggled with low self-esteem, self harm and drug addiction
After the heartbroken parents learned of Victoria’s death, her ex-boyfriend forwarded the Jackie and David a message she had written in case she ever overdosed.
The text urged Jackie to find her daughter’s private journal from her bedside drawer and publish it to help others struggling with addition.
Jackie said she had was clueless about the extent of her daughter’s crippling addiction. In the diary she found posts from her daughter written between 2012 to late 2014 that revealed she struggled with an eating disorder, was addicted to drugs, harmed herself and had a low self-esteem.
Jackie says she cried as she read through the journal saying, ‘Everything was in there and I just didn’t see it.’
‘She was my little angel. I miss her so much,’ she added.
David touts President Donald Trump as one of his friends and says he’s even told the president to crack down on the drug epidemic in America.
‘I have talked to Trump. One of his campaign rallies, he actually saw me and brought me up on the stage and had me speak to the crowd about the drug situation. But I’m disappointed because he told me that when he got nominated, he was going to do whatever he could to end it,’ David said.
‘I thought he was going to do everything possible that he could do to end the drug epidemic. There’s been a lot of talk, but no action,’ he added with frustration.
Jackie fulfilled her daughter’s wish and published Victoria’s diary in March 2019 entitled Victoria’s Voice: Our Daughter’s Losing Battle with Drug Abuse.
‘Victoria’s dad, David Siegel, and I only became aware of the full extent of her drug use when we read about it in her diary, which she had kept hidden in her room,’ Jackie wrote in the book.
‘All of the warning signs were there, but I just didn’t see them. Teens can be masters of deception.’
Following her death the Siegels founded the Victoria’s Voice Foundation – an addiction and overdose prevention charity. Jackie, pictured in front of the Versailles mansion, hopes it will be completed in a year and a half and will host charity events there
Latest update: The Versailles mansion is pictured above in February
The plans for the home are still as elaborate as ever and includes an exercise room, a spa, yoga room, bowling alley, ice rink. ‘Then he wanted a wine cellar, even though he doesn’t drink. We even shipped over a British pub,’ Jackie said on her husband’s home design choices
Construction was slowed on the home as the Siegel family waited for David’s business to recover from the 2008 economic crash and after Victoria’s death
As for the Siegel’s Versailles mansion, the home has been under construction for 18-long years – but Jackie hopes it’ll be finished in a year and a half.
The future 90,000-square-foot mansion started construction in 2014 and will feature a roller rink and discotheque, nine kitchens, 30 bathrooms and 14 bedrooms.
Jackie said she expects to be throwing ‘fantastic charity’ events at the finished home to raise money for Victoria’s Voice Foundation – an addiction and overdose prevention charity she founded in her daughter’s name.
The Siegels’ foundation seeks to educate Americans on the drug crisis and lobbies for legislation to change it including calling for random drug testing in schools and securing funding for first responders and universities to carry Naloxone – the antidote for narcotic overdoses.
Construction was slowed on the home as the Siegel family waited for David’s business to recover from the 2008 economic crash and after Victoria’s death.
‘We didn’t even go over there. It just didn’t really matter. When you have all the money in the world but you can’t bring your daughter back, you don’t really care about the house, you know?’ Jackie said.
The plans for the home are still as elaborate as ever and includes an exercise room, a spa, yoga room, bowling alley, ice rink.
‘Then he wanted a wine cellar, even though he doesn’t drink. We even shipped over a British pub,’ Jackie explained.
The home also has plans for five swimming pools, because ‘we have the main swimming pool, and then it has a waterfall, and the waterfall needed somewhere to go.’