Minka Kelly Wrote About Her Traumatic Childhood and Going to the Strip Club With Her Mom

The Friday Night Lights star is also the daughter of Aerosmith's Rick Dufay.

Most well-known for her role as Lyla Garrity in the beloved small-town football drama Friday Night Lights, Minka Kelly is opening up about her childhood in a new memoir, Tell Me Everything, out May 2. The actress describes her upbringing with her single mother, Maureen, who was an exotic dancer; chronicles reconnecting with her father Rick Dufay, who played guitar for Aerosmith; and shares that when she was cast in the cult classic FNL, she was still learning what it really meant to be part of the entertainment industry.

"I spent a lot of my youth wishing my mom was something she wasn't, wishing she was like the other moms," Kelly shared with People. "I only was able to really appreciate how special she was when I got much older. In fact when it was maybe a little too late."

Minka Kelly

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Kelly's mother, who went by "Mo," faced addiction and domestic violence and would take her daughter to work with her at Crazy Girls, an L.A. strip club. Maureen passed away from cancer in 2008, something that Kelly reconciles with as the book unfolds. Kelly says that she used the shame and guilt that she felt being associated with her mother and tried her best to escape into modeling and acting to provide for herself. She also explained that she attempted to reconnect with her father when she started working and even studied to be a scrub nurse prior to landing FNL.

"I saw her start to crumble in shame and regret and pain when she was already in so much of all of those things, and I just immediately thought, 'I don't need to do this to her,'" Kelly explained of reconciling with her mother ahead of her passing. "I only need to forgive her and love her. She's already broken. What is the point of pouring salt on the wound? I'm fine. I just want to take care of her right now."

Minka Kelly

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Kelly also spoke about her time on FNL and her off-screen romance with co-star Taylor Kitsch. Not only did she learn about what being a working actor really entailed during her time on the series, which also starred Connie Britton and Kyle Chandler, she learned to stay away from dating her co-stars.

"I was terrified because I was in way over my head," she said. "I was learning as I was going. So you see me on that show literally learn how to do what I do. Funny enough, at that point in my career, I was very curious about what people thought of me. And I have to be honest, reading a lot of really mean things about me helped. I was just able to read the feedback constructively."

"I think that relationship taught me to not have on-set romances," she said of dating Kitsch. "But you have to learn it for yourself."

The actor, who recently appeared on HBO's hit Euphoria, explains that she wrote the book to help others who "might have complicated relationships with their mothers feel less alone" and show that "we don't have to be a victim of our circumstance."

Kelly also explained that the process of working through her experiences and past relationships allowed her to embrace "all the darkest, most scary parts, the parts that I carried a lot of shame about my whole life."

"It felt very liberating to sort of own my history as opposed to feel like I need to hide it anymore," she said.

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