Wentworth Miller: ‘I Tried to Kill Myself’ Before Coming Out

After coming out in an open letter, Prison Break star Wentworth Miller has opened up about the demons he faced keeping his sexual identity a secret, revealing he attempted suicide when he was a teenager.

The first time I tried to kill myself I was 15,” he said during a speech at the Human Rights Campaign Seattle Gala Saturday. “I waited until my family went away for the weekend and I was alone in the house, and I swallowed a bottle of pills.”

“I don’t remember what happened over the next couple of days, but I’m pretty sure come Monday morning I was on the bus back to school, pretending everything was fine. And when someone asks me if that was a cry for help, I’d say, ‘No.’ You only cry for help if you believe there’s help to cry for. And I didn’t need it, I wanted out.”

The actor said, in a video obtained by TMZ, “Growing up I was a target. Speaking the right way, standing the right way, holding your wrist the right way. Every day was a test and there were a thousand ways to fail, a thousand ways to betray yourself, to not live up to someone else’s standards of what was accepted, of what was normal.”

The 41-year-old also went on to say that he had many opportunities to come out after hitting it big on his FOX series, but chose not to “because when I thought about the possibility about coming out, and about how that might impact me and the career I worked so hard for, I was filled with fear.”

In August, Miller came out and identified himself as a gay man in a letter declining an invite to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival, rejecting the offer due to the country’s anti-gay laws and insisting that he cannot participate in an event held at a place where “people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.”