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School of Rock child star Rivkah Reyes says role resulted in bullying and ‘raging addiction’

Ellie Harrison
·2-min read
Rivkah Reyes and Jack Black in School of Rock (Paramount)
Rivkah Reyes and Jack Black in School of Rock (Paramount)

School of Rock actor Rivkah Reyes has revealed they suffered from addiction issues and bullying after starring in the 2003 film.

Reyes was 10 years old when they played the part of bass player Katie in the Jack Black comedy musical, which followed a rock band comprised of schoolchildren led by Black’s Dewey Finn.

In a new interview with The New York Post, Reyes – who is now 28 – said they feel their story is “kind of parallel with Britney’s”.

Following the release of the documentary Framing Britney Spears, child stars from Mara Wilson (Matilda) to Tavi Gevinson (Enough Said) have spoken up about their struggles with celebrity.

Reyes said that they have “felt unsafe existing” because of obsessive fans, including one man who tried to take photos of them while they were at school. Reyes said they were also sexualised from a young age.

Read more - Framing Britney Spears review: A deeply sad account that lacks hard evidence

Speaking about the bullying they experienced, Reyes said: “Especially after production wrapped, when I first came back to school, people were really nice or really mean. There was no middle ground. I was literally followed around the school with people chanting ‘School of Rock’.”

Reyes said they later became “a raging addict” who self-harmed and had an unhealthy relationship with food, drugs, sex, alcohol between the ages of 14 to 24.

Read more - Matilda star opens up about sickening harassment at height of fame: ‘I have been asked about boyfriends since I was six’

However, they said they did not regret starring in School of Rock. “It was nothing but love and support,” Reyes said of the experience. “I have never lost gratitude for that, or wish that I wasn’t part of it.”

In 2017, Reyes got sober and returned to acting, along with TV writing, music and tarot card reading.

“To quote Britney,” they said, “I’m stronger than yesterday.”

If you have been affected by this article, you can contact the following organisations for support: mind.org.uk, actiononaddiction.org.uk, mentalhealth.org.uk, samaritans.org.

To find support for drug addiction near you, visit the website for Frank. You can also call the charity’s 24/7 helpline on 0300 123 6600, text 82111 or send an email.