Actor Wentworth Miller, who recently came out publicly as gay in defiance of Russia’s new anti-gay laws, revealed Saturday that he attempted suicide more than once as he tried to hide his sexuality.
Being in the closet as a youth, “Every day was a test and there were a thousand ways to fail ...,” he said, speaking at a Human Rights Commission gala in Seattle, as seen in video posted by TMZ. “And when you failed the test, which was guaranteed, there was a price to pay. Emotional. Psychological. Physical. And like many of you, I paid that price. More than once.”
“The first time I tried to kill myself I was 15,” the former “Prison Break” star revealed. “I waited till my family went away for the weekend and I was alone in the house. 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 I was on the bus back to school pretending everything was fine.”
When someone asked him if that attempt was a cry for help, Miller said no: “I told them, you only cry for help if you believe there’s help to cry for.”
Though Miller, now 41, later came out privately to friends and family, he said he was still closeted professionally and “filled with fear.” He noted all the interviews he did all over the world during his “Prison Break” run in which he chose to lie about his sexuality.
It wasn’t until he was declining an invitation to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival that he finally saw the opportunity to “be to someone else what no one was to me,” and come out in public as a gay man.
“I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government,” he wrote in his RSVP letter. “The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.”