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NAMES IN THE NEWS : Bryant Calls Herself a 'Miracle'

May 17, 1990|From Times Wire Services

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Anita Bryant, the former Florida orange juice woman and campaigner against gay rights, calls herself a "walking miracle" for having survived a nervous breakdown, pill addiction and divorce.

Bryant, a pop singer in the 1960s, moved to Nashville from Selma, Ala., in August to get back into the business. She just finished an album called "With Love" and is working on her 11th inspirational book.

"I know that I am a walking miracle," she said in an interview published Wednesday in The Tennessean. "You know how you read about the 'points' you get if you have trauma in your life? I've got enough trauma points to have died and resurrected about three times. So I know I'm here by God's grace."

Bryant said she had suffered a breakdown, financial woes and addiction to pills.

In 1977, she took part in a campaign to block a Miami ordinance that would have prevented job discrimination against homosexuals.

When her marriage ended in divorce 10 years ago, the same people who had applauded her crusade against homosexuals condemned her, she said.

"I was the darling of a lot of people. They waved their palms and then the same ones next time were saying, 'Crucify her, crucify her,' " she said. "Divorce is not God's perfect plan. But thank God it's forgivable."

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