The heiress to the massive In-N-Out Burger fortune opened up about her past substance abuse, failed marriages and the death of her father in a rare interview.
On her 35th birthday in May, Lynsi Snyder will become the majority owner of the famous fast-food chain. And as the private heiress gears up to take on the responsibility, she is speaking candidly about her downward spiral following the death of her father, Guy Snyder.
“Probably around age 5 or 6, I noticed we were going to visit my dad in the hospital. And I thought it was just a hospital he was staying at but it turned out to be a rehab,” Snyder told Christian media platform I Am Second. “It wasn’t until I was older that I realized he had a drug addiction from different surgeries he’d had and a lot of pain in his past.”
In-N-Out Burger was founded in 1948 in Baldwin Park, California, by Snyder’s grandparents, Harry and Esther Snyder. Snyder’s uncle Rich ran the company for nearly 20 years before dying in a plane crash. Guy took over the fast-food company in 1993, but died six years later after overdosing on painkillers, CBS News reports.
“My world shattered,” Snyder said of the death. She said her father’s passing marked the beginning of a years-long attempt to “fill the void” using drugs, alcohol and men.
Desperate for companionship, Snyder married high school sweetheart Jeremiah Seawell when she was 18: “It wasn’t right,” she said of the marriage. “I paid the price with a divorce.”
The 34-year-old said that after parting ways with Seawell in 2003, she “jumped right into the arms of someone else,” marrying Richard Martinez in 2004.
“At that point, I’d pretty much realized I was the outcast in the family,” she said. “I started smoking pot, drinking — which were things I really wanted to stay away from [after] watching my dad.”
She added: “I realized, ‘I’m gonna follow in the footsteps of my father in that I’m gonna meet an early death if I do not get right with God and follow him.’ ”
Snyder wed twice more and has been married to Sean Ellingson since 2014. She said her third husband married her “because of money,” and cheated on her for years. It was then that she decided to “take time away.”
Snyder credits her faith with her life change. Now, the mom of four leads a very private life, serving the Los Angeles community alongside her husband with their “Army of Love” foundation.