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Kendra Wilkinson's new memoir: I read it so you don't have to

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I’ve always had a special place in my heart for reading the memoirs of others. Maybe it’s because I have a secret desire to write my own one day. Alas, I’m not famous and my mother would probably be the only one interested in such a book. So for now, I’ll continue with my fascination with the real stars.

So when Kendra Wilkinson’s new book Sliding Into Home popped up in the EW office this week, I grabbed it immediately. (Not sure why the rush. I think I might be the only person in the office who actually wanted to read it. But I’ll pretend it was a lucky grab.) And I know what you’re thinking. Kendra Wilkinson of Playboy fame a star? Well, that’s debatable. But she put her memoirs on paper nonetheless.

And if you can get past the weak writing and the fact that it’s called Sliding Into Home with no real connection to softball/baseball, she actually has an interesting story to tell. (I get that she’s into sports, but after reading the book, soccer is clearly her forte, not softball. But I digress.) She’s had a tough life, and it’s really a shock she’s as successful as she is. Have you turned on E! network lately? Anyway, maybe you could give the book a chance. Especially if you’ve seen The Girls Next Door or Kendra. But if not, I bring you the 10 most interesting things I learned about Kendra by reading:

  1. She had some pretty awful teachers growing up. A former math teacher told 14-year-old Kendra if she wore a short skirt and talked his class up at a parent’s night he would give her an A. (She did, and she got that A.) Another teacher laughed at her when she announced in class she wanted to be a marine biologist. (How rude!)
  2. Wilkinson did a lot of drugs. A lot. Crystal meth, cocaine, acid, weed. You name it, she probably did it. (And this is why I’m amazed she still looks as young as she does.)
  3. And she drank a lot of alcohol. The first time she got drunk, at age 12, her mom took her to juvenile hall to spend the night. The officers took her in the back, tried to scare her, and then let her go because they were full. (Drinking at 12! I was a heavy drinker of juice at 12.)
  4. Wilkinson also admits to pretty severe cutting. (She said she hid this from her friends like she hid her other destructive behavior.)
  5. She was suicidal at one point, and spent time in a psychiatric ward after overdosing on pills. At the hospital, she tried to overdose by eating a tube of toothpaste. (She admits that this was like hitting rock bottom.)
  6. Her turning point was a bad reaction to too much cocaine one night. She went home to her mom, asked for forgiveness, and got her life back on track. (Thank goodness. Her retelling of that night is chilling.)
  7. Wilkinson was discovered by Hugh Hefner after she modeled in a car show with her then boyfriend, Zack. (Kendra met Hef at 18 when she worked his 78th birthday as a painted girl.)
  8. When she first moved into the mansion as one of Hef’s girlfriends, she didn’t get along with the other girlfriends (and later co-stars) Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt. (The Girls Next Door portrays them as very close, but the girls weren’t until the later seasons, Wilkinson shares.)
  9. Wilkinson likes Nancy Grace, and said she might be the one person to change her mind about something. (I find this odd. Anyone else?)
  10. She has a huge fear of her belly button stemming from an episode of Ren and Stimpy. (This one doesn’t surprise me so much. That was a weird show.)

So whether or not you’re a Kendra fan, you have to admit that she’s had a rough life. And for someone who spent most of her youth completely out of control, I’m happy she found a way out. She’s happily married with a really cute baby. And she’s got a rag to riches story I just can’t deny.