Actor Alex Winter of Bill and Ted fame is admitting that he was sexually assaulted as a child actor, the Hollywood Reporter shares.
Speaking with BBC Radio 5 presenter Adrian Chiles on Friday, Winter, now 52, explained that the incident happened in the 1970s with a man who is now dead. According to Winter, he held onto what he considered a “potentially dangerous secret” for years and ended up dealing with what he now recognizes as post-traumatic stress disorder.
“That was evident to me while I was still in my teens,” he said. “And so I began to do work on it. But it really took time, and it really wasn’t in my case, I would say, ’til well into my 30’s, that I was really able to do heavy lifting on this stuff.”
The first time he began to deal with what he had gone through was on the Bill and Ted set.
“For me personally, in terms of the experience [of working on Bill and Ted], it was an opportunity to just be childlike and play, and innocent and sweet, and it was really, really helpful for me mentally,” he specified.
Thanks to the lighthearted nature of the set, Winter says he was finally able to address the trauma for the first time, as People writes.
“I didn’t realize it, but it was very important,” he mentioned.
“I was in a pretty dark place around that time because I had just been going and going and going, and I hadn’t stopped. You know, I just barreled through the rest of those shows, I barreled through college. I just hadn’t really paused and that’s a recipe for disaster if you’re carrying that kind of trauma. So, it was an opportunity to pause and just be some place safe and sweet and fun and childlike.”
Alex says the current landscape of celebrities coming forward with stories of their own abuse has helped him have a “light bulb” moment of coming forward with his own.
“I was absolutely flummoxed,” he stated. “I figured I would die with it within the circles of people that understood it, which I thought was wrong, it was wrong.”
Nowadays, Alex continues to act, as well as direct and produce other projects. He and his former co-star, Keanu Reeves, will reunite for a third installment in the Bill and Ted saga entitled, Bill and Ted Face the Music.
“The idea of revisiting them in middle age is really, there is a sweetness to that,” Winter said. “The world of Bill & Ted is a very sweet and fun place to run around in.”