While most of the cast from Saved by the Bell have remained in the spotlight, Lark Voorhies has largely been out of sight.
The former teen star, known to a generation of fans as the fashionable Lisa Turtle, denies anything is wrong, but after a bizarre Yahoo! video went viral earlier this year, some questioned whether drugs played a role. Voorhies adamantly denied it. Instead, her mother says, she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
In a series of interviews with PEOPLE, it was clear something wasn’t right. Voorhies, 38, would frequently stop mid-sentence and stare off, often mumbling to herself or to others who weren’t there.
“There are things that have traumatized her,” says Tricia, 64, who shares a home with her daughter in Pasadena, Calif. “I care deeply about my daughter and I want her to resume her life.”
Voorhies says her “over-loving” mother worries about her, but there’s no need. She says she is not sick and keeps busy by working on low-budget indie productions, recording music and self-publishing her own books.
But what about the vacant stares and rambling moments?
“I have a strong spiritual sense,” she says. “You caught me in moments of pray [sic].”
Here’s an excerpt from the aforementioned interview:
Honestly, though, I don’t really see the problem with this interview. Yeah, she was a little spacey sometimes, but come on. Are we all perfect? Because I sure know that I’m not. I lose my words at times, and last I checked, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something wrong with me, per se.
Here’s one that kind of concerns me. Is she drunk? High? Or is it her alleged diagnosis?
Because she stands there for more than a full nine minutes, squinting through the camera glare and answering questions that she doesn’t really have to. Why would she put herself through all that if she wasn’t really all that into giving interviews and public appearances and what not?
Just … just feel better,
Lisa Turtle Lark Voorhies. You were probably my favorite character on Saved by the Bell and you seem like a pretty nice lady, too. Take good care of yourself, OK? Or if your mom’s telling lies, then she better quit it, because that’s just not nice.