NEW YORK — New York City Council Speaker and Democratic mayoral candidate Christine Quinn says she struggled in the past with bulimia and alcoholism.

In an interview with the New York Times ( ), Quinn says her bingeing and purging began when she was 16 while caring for her mother who was dying of cancer.

Quinn says at the time she believed if she was a perfect daughter her mother might get better. She says that meant being thinner and prettier and getting better grades.

Her mother died when she was a high school junior.

Quinn says after 10 years of battling bulimia she entered a Florida rehabilitation center at age 26.

The 46-year-old Quinn says she doesn’t want to be seen as a victim, but hopes others will follow her example of openness.