“I Was Never Sober” – Jelly Roll’s 15-Year Old Daughter Bailee Ann Opens Up On Doing Drugs With Her Biological Mother

Jelly Roll Bunnie Xo Bailee Ann
Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

When Jelly Roll speaks about the horrors of drug addiction, it’s personal for him.

The country superstar admits that he spent his early years dealing drugs, and he’s been open about the time that he spent locked up for nearly a decade after an armed robbery. But since then, he’s been an outspoken advocate on the need for action to curb the deadly fentanyl epidemic.

Jelly Roll (whose real name is Jason DeFord) even testified in front of Congress recently, urging lawmakers to take action while admitting that he was once part of the problem:

“I also understand the paradox of my history as a drug dealer standing in front of this committee. But equally I think that’s what makes me perfect to talk about this.

I was a part of the problem. I am here now standing as a man that wants to be part of the solution.

I brought my community down. I hurt people. I was the uneducated man in the kitchen playing chemist with drugs I knew absolutely nothing about, just like these drug dealers are doing right now when they’re mixing every drug on the market with fentanyl. And they’re killing the people we love.”

And during his powerful testimony, Jelly Roll also spoke about how the drug crisis has touched his own home:

“I have a 15 year old daughter whose mother is a drug addict. Every day I get to look in the eyes of a victim in my household of the effects of drugs. Every single day. And every single day I have to wonder if me and my wife, if today will be the day that I have to tell my daughter that her mother became part of the national statistic.”

That 15-year old daughter, Bailee Ann, is who Jelly Roll credits with turning his life around after he found out that he had a daughter while he was incarcerated. And for the past 8 years, Jelly Roll and his wife, Bunnie Xo, have had custody of Bailee as her mother has battled addiction herself.

And while we’ve heard bits and pieces about what Bailee has had to go through in her life, now she’s ready to tell her own story.

Bailee joined Bunnie Xo on this week’s episode of her Dumb Blonde podcast, where she opened up in an emotional conversation with the woman who’s now her mother on the struggles that she’s faced with her biological mom.

(And just to get this out of the way before anybody says anything: Both Bunnie and Bailee were very clear that this is something Bailee wanted to do on her own. This is not Bunnie “exploiting” Bailee’s story for clicks. This is a 15-year old who’s been through sh*t that no child should ever have to deal with, and wants to use her story to help others).

The conversation starts with Bailee recalling back in 2020 when 12-year old Bailee first reconnected with her biological mother, Felicia Beckwith, who was just out of jail and sober living, and seemed to have found her own sobriety:

“She popped up two days before my 12th birthday…and I guess we just kinda started building a relationship from there.”

Bunnie admits that, despite her and Jelly Roll having reservations about the situation, they’ve always tried to “let it just be natural” with Bailee, and she even gives Beckwith credit for seemingly turning things around during this time period.

“This was very organic with you and your mom. It was really like you guys were healing together.”

But unfortunately, it didn’t last.

In March of that year, Bunnie says that Beckwith (who she describes as “conniving,” which sounds like an understatement) began to reach out about wanting to rekindle her relationship with Bailee.

They knew that Beckwith had started having the occasional drink, which Bailee didn’t necessarily approve of, but she trusted her mother and went to stay with her for the summer – which turned out to be a mistake.

Bailee says that during that time, she was smoking “a lot of weed” and drinking with her mother:

“We start drinking together and I’m like, ‘Ok this is whatever, you’re just a cool mom, you’re letting me drink, you’re letting me smoke weed, this is cool.'”

But by July of that summer, it had turned from alcohol and weed to harder drugs (though the exact drug is bleeped out in the podcast).

“Nobody knew except my mother, except my mother who manipulated me and convinced me to do…”

Bailee recalls her mother taking her to meet her dealer for drugs, and getting into a fight in a gas station bathroom with Beckwith over her drug use. But her mother convinced her that her use was only “recreational.” And later that night, her mother took her to a Dollar General parking lot where she convinced her daughter to try the drug herself:

“We’re in the Dollar General…and she looks at me and she’s like, ‘Will you try it?’

And I’m like, ‘No, what the f*ck do you mean will I try it? I’m drunk as sh*t right now.'”

But Bailee says that her mom was manipulative, and eventually convinced her to try it:

“I ended up doing it because she’s, like I said, manipulative, and she did the mom thing.

And it’s weird to say ‘Did the mom thing,’ but that’s the best way I can put it in terms of how persuasive she was, how convincing it was. It’s not a mom thing, but it’s a my mom thing. She did the Felicia thing, and it worked.”

The teenager admits that she doesn’t have much recollection of the next couple of months, because she was “so f*cked up all of the time.”

“Whether it was weed, or I was drinking, or I was vaping or snorting Valiums or Xanax or whatever I was doing, I was never sober for a good 8-month period.”

Bunnie says that during this time, she and Jelly Roll noticed something was off with Bailee’s mood, but had no idea what was really going on:

“She made you feel like you choose daddy and Bunnie over me, and this is our little secret.”

And Bunnie and Jelly Roll even helped Beckwith get a house at the time, thinking that she was finally getting her life in order:

“We’re thinking, ‘Oh my God, she wants to be a mom, this is so cool,’ not knowing that she is f*cking traumatizing the f*ck out of her kid.”

Bailee says that she eventually realized during her freshman year of high school that she needed to get sober, and she got into an argument with her mother about it – while her mother’s sister was doing fentanyl, something that made Bunnie emotional to hear:

“It’s so hard to hear that, because it makes me want to beat people up. You don’t deserve that. It infuriates me so much, because what if that sh*t had fentanyl in it? What if she killed her own daughter? Would she have any remorse?

This is where all gloves are off with Felicia. It’s like, eight years. We have given you eight f*cking years. We have had custody of you now longer than your mom did, and it’s like, when does the motherly instinct kick in?”

But Bailee’s not so sure that it ever will:

“I don’t think it does. I don’t think she has one.”

Eventually, Bailee admits that she suffered an intense depression, but Bunnie and Jelly Roll convinced her to take part in an intensive therapy that eventually convinced her to get sober (though Bunnie and Jelly Roll still had no idea that she was using drugs).

And Bailee’s decision to stop using drugs upset her mother (which is an insane sentence to type, so I can’t even imagine how it feels for Bailee to have lived through), so Beckwith took off – and hasn’t been part of Bailee’s life since.

Honestly, the whole conversation is absolutely wild, and heartbreaking to think about a 15-year old having to deal with.

But it also gave me a whole new appreciation for Bunnie and Jelly Roll, and the role that they’ve played in helping their daughter through an impossible situation.

It’s a tough listen, but one that’s well worth the time – and as well-spoken as Bailee is (and as much as she’s been through), I have a feeling we’ll be hearing her voice much more in the future, in one way or another.

@xomgitsbunnie Drops Wednesday 🎙️👱‍♀️ #bunnieandbailee ♬ Originalton – Music for the People

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock