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.”