Prison Break star Wentworth Miller, who came out as gay last month, has confessed that he attempted to commit suicide as a teenager.
At a Human Rights Campaign gala at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel Saturday, the 41-year-old described his difficult adolescence, saying that he was a “target” and “every day was rest a test and there was a thousand ways to fail.” Miller also admitted that, like many in the room, that he tried on multiple occasions to kill himself.
“The first time I tried to kill myself I was 15. I waited until my family went away for the weekend and I was alone in the house and I swallowed a bottle of pills,” Miller said in a video acquired by TMZ.
“I don’t remember what happened over the next couple days, but I’m pretty sure come Monday morning I was on a bus back to school pretending everything was fine,” Miller added. “And when someone asked me if that was a cry for help, I say no, because I told no one. You only cry for help if you believe there is help to cry for. And I didn’t. I wanted out.”
Miller went on to describe giving thousands of interview while he was starring in Prison Break, and having several opportunities to “speak his truth” that he was a gay man.
“I was out privately to family and friends, people I’d learned to trust over time, but professionally, publicly, I was not,” he said. “Asked to be out of integrity, or out of the closet, I chose to lie. Because when I thought about the possibility of coming out, how that might impact me and the career I worked so hard for, I was filled with fear.”
Wentworth Miller came out in a letter to the organizers of the St. Petersburg International Film Festival in August. He was invited to attend, but declined in the wake of Russia’s anti-gay laws.
“Thank you for your kind invitation. As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes,” he wrote. “However, as a gay man, I must decline.”
Miller went on to say that he “cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country” where gay people are “systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.”