Tara Conner Miss USA 2006 Drugs, Alcohol, Cutting (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

prim and proper tara conner

Miss USA 2006 Tara Conner sat down with Oprah today for a candid interview.  Most of us will recall that 8-months after she was crowned, the blonde beauty tested positive for cocaine and got a reprieve from pageant owner Donald Trump, who sent her to rehab rather than down the road.

Conner told Winfrey that her life began to spiral at the tender age of 14, when her parents divorced and her grandfather died.  She claims that her family members were self absorbed and in order to mask her own pain, she turned to drugs, alcohol, and cutting.

Tara lived a life of lies until she didn't know who she was anymore.  All of this was to hide her addiction to Percocet, Vicodin, Xanax, Valium, Klonopin, morphine, methadone and OxyContin.   She said, "It consumed every minute of my day.  There would be times where I could do 30 pain pills a day."

Her mother Brenda Sutton said, "There were times when I would hear rumors, and I would confront her.  But she had a way of telling me what I wanted to hear.  She knew what to say to me so that I would believe her.  She was a master manipulator."

Conner admits that she was doing drugs while competing in pageants, including Miss USA.  She revealed, "I was doing pain pills the entire time.  When officials announced she was the winner, Tara was numb from the Xanax she had taken earlier that day."

All of that is now in the past, thanks to Donald Trump.  The 24-year-old has been clean and sober for three years and is happy with the way things have unfolded.  She said, "Every day I learn something new about myself.  I'm allowing myself to feel.  I'm allowing myself to love.  I'm allowing myself to feel pain where I wouldn't before."

More photos and video below:

Photos:  WENN

Check out entire Oprah interview here.