Thu, 13 Dec, 2018
Samuel Johnson opens up about complicated relationship with late sister Connie: “She didn’t like me”
In a new interview, Samuel Johnson has reminisced on his complicated relationship with his late sister, Connie.
The famous duo didn’t fight during the time that the mother of two battled terminal breast cancer before sadly passing away on September 8, 2017.
However, even as Sam quit acting and created the Love Your Sister charity in honour of Connie, the siblings disagreed on nearly everything.
Speaking to Mamamia’s No Filter podcast, Johnson said the close duo would disagree “on how to be as a human, on how to behave, on how to treat people”.
“I disagreed with nearly every part of her across 40 years. We couldn’t be more different. We couldn’t be more diametrically opposed as people, and we couldn’t have a more serious distaste for one another.”
“We weren’t each other’s type. She didn’t like me; she loved me. I didn’t like her; I loved her.”
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Rainbows carry hefty pricetags, turns out.Thanks for showing me that life is what we make it to be. Thanks for teaching me that now can still be awesome, even when you've so nearly run out of now and have no more real awesome left. I wish I could soften your pain, or lessen your fear, or give you something tangible, but tangible clearly isn't in season. I'm proud to walk you to the hardest part of the road. The end. The only part of the road in your life that must sadly be travelled alone. Chin up please, amidst the growing dark my girl. Shoulders back. Stand tall through that savage march, stand big and tall, dear sister, for you have lived a life to be proud of. You've loved well, and you've been loved well which is all that really matters in the end, I suspect. I won't finish with I love you, though of course I do. I'll finish with a simple thanks. Thanks for holding my hand along the way. It's been a stunning fucking ride. I want another turn, for we've spent our lives taking turns, but cancer is greedier and stronger than us. For now. So Little Miss Connie Cottonsocks, I shall now again and proudly declare myself, very truly yours, Your ever grotty and very sad little brother, Sammy Seal. XX @samueljjohnson78
Despite their differences, the siblings created an inspiring online community of over half a million people with Love Your Sister.
The charity raised close to $10 million for vital cancer research though record-breaking fundraising events.
In the media and online, Connie and Samuel appeared loving and teasing and while they may have been authentic, there was more to their relationship.
“As soon as she died I felt I could lift the lid,” Sam laughed. “Like, yeah, she's an amazing sister, she's an amazing mum, she's a great advocate. But she's a pain in the arse.”
One of their greatest disagreements was caused by Sam’s drug use that followed his rise to fame after appearing on The Secret Life of Us.
His drug and alcohol abuse caused Connie a lot of pain as their mother had died of an overdose when she was four and Samuel was just three years old.
“When I was 21 and I broke on TV, [Connie] called me up asked me for six thousand dollars for a couch. I told her to get f*****d, and that even if I had two million dollars I wouldn't give her six thousand dollars for a couch. I told her how upset I was that now I had people in my family asking me for money, now that I was on TV,” Sam said.
“She hung up and rang Channel Nine, WHO Weekly, New Weekly and offered to expose my drug habit.”
But to Sam, that was just “normal relationship stuff”, just another family disagreement.
“She didn’t do anything wrong; I just didn’t like it much.”
Sam was adamant not to demonise or mythologise his sister after her passing, asking all those who spoke at her public memorial not to “deify” her.
“Everyone got up there and really was respectful of my request not to deify her and to talk about the person she was, to celebrate who she was – not who she told the world she was, not who she told her family she was, not even who she told herself she was.”
At the memorial service, the speakers described Connie with words like: determined, competitive, conflicted, supportive, vulnerable, feistiness, thoughtfulness.
The memorial drew an all-encompassing picture of a woman who inspired an online community and her brother’s noble mission to vanquish cancer.