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Michelle Pfeiffer appears at the premiere of The Family in Berlin, Germany on Oct. 15, 2013. / Michelle Pfeiffer talks to about the movie People Like Us in June 2012. - Provided courtesy of Jochen Zick / / OTRC

Michelle Pfeiffer talks about past time in a cult again

11/04/2013 by Corinne Heller

Michelle Pfeiffer has opened up again about how she was once part of a cult whose members believed in breatharianism -- the ability to live without food or water.

The 55-year-old actress made her comments in an interview with the UK newspaper The Sunday Telegraph's Stella magazine, published over the weekend.

Pfeiffer, who is promoting her new film "The Family," says she realized she got involved with a "very controlling" couple of "personal trainers" when she first moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting, when she was in her early 20s.

"They worked with weights and put people on diets," she told Stella magazine. "Their thing was vegetarianism. They were very controlling. I wasn't living with them but I was there a lot and they were always telling me I needed to come more. I had to pay for all the time I was there, so it was financially very draining. They believed that people in their highest state was breatharian."

The actress, who describes herself as a vegan, said she realized she was in a cult when she helped her first husband, Peter Horton, research a different controversial group -- the Moonies, members of the Unification Church of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a South Korean evangelist who died in 2012. Horton was preparing for a role in a movie.

Pfeiffer has talked about her time in the cult before:

In 1985, she told the Los Angeles Times that she got involved with a cult, without elaborating how many people were in it, and said she used to go to its members' home three times a week and got "thoroughly brainwashed."

"They convinced me to become a vegetarian and I gave up fish and meat and chicken," she told the newspaper. "In fact, I only stopped being a vegetarian last week. Peter [Horton] and I went to a restaurant and he said, 'I think I'll have some fish,' and I suddenly said, 'That sounds good to me.' I've been eating fish ever since."

"I stopped seeing them just two weeks after meeting my husband," she added. "I'd wanted to stop months before but found it difficult; they get you to believe you won't be able to survive without them. Not until I was with Peter did I realize just what I'd gotten myself into."

In 1989, the New York Times reported that Pfeiffer was part of a "quasi-religious metaphysical cult" for more than a year and believed its practice of vegetarianism would help her maintain her slim figure. She told the newspaper: "I was brainwashed and I gave them an enormous amount of money."

In addition, in a 2009 interview with the Australian newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald, Pfeiffer joked, while talking about keeping fit, "It's just the older you get, the less you can eat. Isn't that horrible? I figure that by the time I'm 70, I will just be a breatharian. I won't have to eat anything to keep going the way I am."

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