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Whoopi Goldberg’s mom forgot who she was after years of electroshock therapy

The actor and comic says her mother remembered her children 40 years after her hospitalization
Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi Goldberg (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Whoopi Goldberg’s mom forgot who she was after being subjected to years of electroshock therapy.

The actor and comic opens up about how her mother, Emma Harris, who died at 78 in 2010 from a stroke, emerged from the hospital with memory loss after getting the controversial treatment following a mental breakdown.

“[Mom] said, ‘I didn’t know who you were when I got out of the hospital,’ ” she said in her upcoming memoir Bits and Pieces: My Mother, My Brother and Me, in an excerpt obtained by People.

“I’m sorry, what? I’m sorry, what?’ ” Goldberg added she replied at the time.

“Yeah, I had no idea who you were. I just knew I never wanted to go back to that hospital. So I had to do everything I could,” Harris said, according to the excerpt.

“If they said the sky was green, and I could see it wasn’t green, and it was blue, I’d say, ‘Yes, the sky is green.’ ’Cause I never wanted it again,’ ” Harris told Goldberg, who was around 8 years old in the early 1960s when her mom was treated.

At the time of her mom’s treatment, studies on women’s mental health were almost nonexistent, leading to the overuse of prescription drugs and electroshock for sufferers.

Harris didn’t tell Goldberg she forgot who her children were until around 40 years after her hospitalization.

Goldberg elaborated on the trauma during an appearance on “The View.”She said her dad and grandfather had “OK’d” her mom getting the shock treatment for “two years” because “there was a time in this country when … any man involved in your life could make medical decisions for you.”

The comic’s co-hosts Sara Haines and Sunny Hostin expressed their “shock” at the treatment.

The EGOT winner’s autobiography is out May 7, with the book also delving into how her brother, Clyde K. Johnson, died at 66 in 2015 from a brain aneurysm, five years after her mom.

“They’ve been gone awhile now … so I think I just was starting to forget a lot of stuff. Everyone’s gone, and so I have memories of things that happened, but I don’t have specific dates or times,” she said on “The View.”

Goldberg has also said she feels “lucky” to have outlived her sibling.

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