Erin Brockovich's Daughter Opens Up About Toll Mom's Fame Took on Family

by 24USATVJune 11, 2021, 5 a.m. 21
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Erin Brockovich and daughter Elizabeth appear together in ABC's primetime special The Real Rebel: The Erin Brockovich Story

Erin Brockovich's Daughter Opens Up About Toll Mom's Fame Took on Family

Erin Brockovich's famous settlement and the Julia Roberts-starring movie made her a household name - but back in Brockovich's actual home, it took a toll on her family, she and her daughter reveal in a new interview.

The story of Brockovich, now 60, is well-known Hollywood lore: she helped the residents of Hinkley, California win a $333 million groundwater contamination settlement with the energy company Pacific Gas & Electric, a journey that got the Oscar-winning movie treatment with help from Roberts in 2000.

But at home - where she was raising three children - Brockovich's time in the spotlight "had a big toll," she says in the upcoming ABC primetime special The Real Rebel: The Erin Brockovich Story, which chronicles her return to Hinkley for the first time in 10 years.

"I mean, I had to work. I wasn't making a fortune," she says in a clip shared exclusively with PEOPLE. "I didn't see them as often. I think it was tough on them."

Joining her in the interview is daughter Elizabeth, 30, who says her mom's extended periods away from home took some serious adjustment.

"I was just a little girl that had never dealt with anything like this," she says. "So when my mom's movie came out, it was just, she was gone a lot, more than normal."

Brockovich - who is also mom to son Matt, 38, and daughter Katie, 36 - jokes that she did instill her youngest child with at least one life lesson: how to get divorced (Brockovich split from her third husband Eric Ellis in 2012).

"I'm pretty good at that now," Elizabeth jokes. "She's really just taught me how to - you fall down, you get back up."

Despite setbacks, Elizabeth, now a mom of three herself, says all's well that ends well.

"How did I turn out? I think I'm okay," she says with a laugh. "I'm still a little all over the place. Having three kids, and my oldest with special needs, at 30 is a lot. But I think I turned out okay."

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