LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Actress Minka Kelly attends the screening of Discovery Impact's 'Hu...
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Minka Kelly's Memoir Details "Unstable" Childhood & Complicated Relationship With Mom

The Friday Night Lights actress was raised by her mom Maureen, who provided for her while working as an exotic dancer.

In her debut memoir Tell Me Everything, Minka Kelly opens up about her roots, where she came from, and her unusual childhood. The Friday Night Lights star explains that she was raised by her single mom in a “chaotic” environment, moving around a lot before eventually settling in one place. Here’s what else you need to know about the actress’ upbringing.

Her mom Maureen raised her while working as an exotic dancer in Los Angeles.

Kelly was raised by her mom Maureen Dumont Kelly, who provided for her daughter while working as an exotic dancer, mostly in the Los Angeles area before moving around throughout her childhood. Because she was raising her daughter on her own, Kelly’s mom often found herself struggling to find childcare and would often bring her daughter to work with her at the Crazy Girls strip club in Los Angeles.

“If she made a lot of money that night, we’d go grocery shopping at 2 a.m.,” Kelly told People. “I spent a lot of my youth wishing my mom was something she wasn’t, wishing she was like the other moms. 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.”

“My childhood was colorful and chaotic, unstable and inconsistent, unpredictable and hard a lot of the times. But the silver lining is that it made me a very adaptable person,” she added.

Her mother struggled with substance abuse.

Kelly also opened up about a difficult time in her teens when her mother left town to avoid being arrested on drug charges. She found herself left with few options, and eventually moved in with an abusive boyfriend. When her mother came back to town, Kelly was pregnant and Maureen took her to Planned Parenthood to get an abortion after initially suggesting that mother and daughter could raise the baby together. “Raise this baby together, how?” the Parenthood star writes in her memoir, according to Page Six. “With what money? What home? What insurance? I couldn’t imagine bringing a baby into what my mother brought me into. Absolutely not.”

She got the abortion, describing her moment of clarity. “That was it. In that moment, I knew the right choice. Raising a child with my mother would only continue this family trauma, another cycle added to so many generations of pain. Hadn’t there been enough damage already?”

Kelly eventually moved to Albuquerque, where she supported herself as a performer in an adult video store at just 17 years old before going on to be offered her breakout role as Lyla Garrity in Friday Night Lights, which she writes about at the beginning of her book. “I started with the scariest part,” Kelly told People. “The part that I carried the most shame about, the part that I felt the most embarrassed of, the part that I hid my whole life, and the part that I’ve had people make me feel bad about. And I felt like that was just where I had to be the most brave.”

Kelly’s dad is Rick Dufay, a guitar player for Aerosmith.

Kelly also wrote about her relationship with her dad Rick Dufay, a former guitarist for Aerosmith who was largely absent in her childhood. Her parents met in 1979 and had a brief affair, but Dufay was not a big part of her life until she moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting and reunited with him. “I used to be really angry at him for not being there for my younger years, but I think that everything happens as it's supposed to,” she told People, explaining that she moved in with her dad for a while and continues to work on a relationship with him to this day.

Her mom died of colon cancer in 2008 at 51 years old.

In an Instagram post promoting Tell Me Everything, Kelly opened up about her mom’s death in 2008 from colon cancer prompted her to write her book.

“I knew I would write my story back when I was still in high school. I also knew I could only do so after my mother died if I were going to be truly honest,” she shared. “The beauty of writing at this time in my life is that I’ve had time to process and grieve so much. I can now tell my story fairly and without resentment — but with compassion, forgiveness, and love. The rub is I’d give anything to share this book with my mother. I know she’s aware of it in her own way. But I’d love to see her face light up at the idea that I wrote a whole book — 288 pages! — about our relationship. She’d be so proud — of the good, the bad, and even the ugly.”

Tell Me Everything will be available wherever you buy books on May 2.