Her strained relationship with Jan Brady
On the show, Jan Brady (played by Eve Plumb) was very jealous of her older sister Marcia, but, in real life, the actresses behind the characters were very good friends — or “best friends,” as Maureen McCormick described their relationship during an interview with Today.
Sadly, that all changed when McCormick appeared on a late-night talk show called Vibe and revealed she was in love with all of her The Brady Bunch co-stars, from Robert Reed (Mike Brady) to Barry Williams (Greg Brady) to Florence Henderson (Carol Brady). But when she announced she shared a kiss with Plumb, pointing to her cheek to signify the placement of the smooch (via E! News), Plumb was reportedly ticked off.
“I was having fun, something I was joking with, and [Plumb] didn’t take it that way,” McCormick stated while reliving the aftermath.
Today show host Al Roker later asked the actress if there was any chance for a reconciliation. “I’ve reached out to her,” McCormick said. “I called her for years and would never get a phone call back. Finally, after doing that for so long, I thought, she’ll call me when she wants to, and hopefully she will.”
Radar Online revealed in 2010 that the McCormick and Plumb feud was — at the time, at least — still ongoing. And the tension was apparently so strong that it was listed as the reason why a televised The Brady Bunch reunion was canned.
Maureen McCormick released her memoir in 2009, and within the pages, she opened up about battling drug addiction several years after The Brady Bunch came to an end (via the Daily Mail). “I got into it through a boyfriend, who was friends with people who did drugs,” she told People about the start of her addiction. “I have a very addictive personality. I know that now.”
She said she soon watched in horror as her vice tore apart those closest to her, telling Entertainment Tonight, “I remember my father saying that he was going to turn me into the police… I wish I could take back all the pain that I caused them.”
In the end, she told People that she didn’t depend on formal rehab treatment to get clean. Instead, she went to therapy and relied on her faith to guide her down a path toward sobriety.
Although her six-year battle with cocaine is behind her, McCormick’s husband, Michael Cummings, revealed to the Daily Mail that the actress had turned to the prescription medication Prozac to treat her depression and had developed a dependency for it. Fortunately, she was able to kick her habit right before she appeared on the reality show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here in 2015.
A 10-year battle with bulimia
Speaking to People magazine, McCormick recalled her 10-year battle with bulimia, which she said started after she enrolled into a public high school at the age of 17. “I was with some girls, we had a gallon of ice cream, and someone mentioned how we could eat it all and not gain weight,” she said. “It seemed ideal. Once I started [purging], it was hard to stop.”
It didn’t help that she was cast for guest roles on The Love Boat and Fantasy Island after The Brady Bunch came to an end, and both gigs required her to show some skin. “I had to be in a bathing suit. That made me so self-conscious,” she said. This led to the actress binging and purging in order to lose the weight she had gained.
After the 2004 death of her mother, McCormick was faced with the decision to place her mentally disabled brother, Denny in a group home. During that time, she packed on 30 pounds because she “wasn’t exercising, just eating and sleeping a lot.” She took comfort in her favorite foods and realizes she was “eating to cope” with the pain.
She finally decided it was time to face her eating disorder by competing on Celebrity Fit Club. She eventually won the competition and lost 38 pounds the healthy way, according to People.