OWN Host Dr. Laura Berman’s Son Dead at 16 After Apparent Overdose
Dr. Laura Berman is mourning the loss of her teenage son.
On Monday, Feb. 8, the New York Times best-selling author and sex therapist confirmed on Instagram that her 16-year-old son Samuel Berman Chapman passed away from a drug overdose.
“My beautiful boy is gone. 16 years old. Sheltering at home. A drug dealer connected with him on Snapchat and gave him fentanyl laced Xanax and he overdosed in his room,” Dr. Berman shared on social media. “They do this because it hooks people even more and is good for business but it causes overdose and the kids don’t know what they are taking. My heart is completely shattered and I am not sure how to keep breathing. I post this now only so that not one more kid dies.”
The Language of Love podcast host added, “We watched him so closely. Straight A student. Getting ready for college. Experimentation gone bad. He got the drugs delivered to the house. Please watch your kids and WATCH SNAPCHAT especially. That’s how they get them.”
In a separate statement to E! News, Dr. Berman explained that her son, who was also known as Sammy, was “a beautiful soul who left us way too soon.” She also called on social media platforms to make a positive difference going forward.
“Our hearts are broken for ourselves and for all the other children that are suffering during this pandemic,” her statement read. “We call on Snapchat and Twitter to help the Santa Monica Police with their investigation, which according to the police is something the big technology companies regularly refuse to do. And we encourage every parent to manage their children’s social media as closely as possible.”
E! News has reached out to Twitter and police for comment. Snapchat would address Samuel’s passing in a statement to E! News.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of Samuel Berman Chapman and we are heartbroken by his passing,” a Snap spokesperson said. “We are committed to working together with law enforcement in this case and in all instances where Snapchat is used for illegal purposes. We have zero tolerance for using Snapchat to buy or sell illegal drugs.”
Fans may know Dr. Berman for her multiple appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She would later receive her own show on the Oprah Winfrey Network titled In the Bedroom With Dr. Laura Berman where she helped couples struggling with love and intimacy.
While her Instagram focuses on her occupation as a sex therapist, followers also get a glimpse into her family life. While celebrating Halloween last year, Dr. Berman reflected on her three children growing up and becoming young adults.
“Over the past few years, I’ve also embraced my kids moving into their teen years where they want little to do with me ESPECIALLY on Halloween, preferring to be with friends making (somewhat harmless) mischief,” she wrote. “But this year, Halloween basically isn’t happening and they are stuck home with us….I am calling in all the good (despite all the crazy) that’s coming… and praying that next Halloween everything will look very different.”