Wentworth Miller Attempted Suicide Before Coming Out

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Monday September 9, 2013

Actor Wentworth Miller made headlines last month after he came out while condemning Russia's anti-gay measure. Now, the "Prison Break" star opens up about his struggles with coming to terms with his sexuality and revealed he even attempted suicide when he was a teenager.

Miller was a special guest at the Human Rights Campaign Seattle Gala on Saturday, Sept. 7, and admitted that he tried to take his own life "more than once," as he struggled to understand that he is gay, the New York Daily News reports. Miller, 41, said he first tried to committee suicide when he was just 15 years old.

"Growing up I was a target. Speaking the right way, standing the right way, holding your wrist the right way," Miller said in a video from the event, TMZ reports. "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 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 added. "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."

He said after he became famous for his role in "Prison Break," he had a number of chances to come out but didn't "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 a 2007 interview with the Australian Associated Press (via Towleroad) Miller shot down rumors that he is gay.

"No, I'm not gay. I know these rumours are out there ... I'm cool with the fact that they exist, I mean this is about fantasy," the actor said. "Certain people are going to have certain fantasies, if someone wants to imagine me with a woman, or a man or one of each that's cool with me as long as you keep watching the show."

But Miller, also know for starring in Mariah Carey's music video for "We Belong Together," eventually broke his silence in August in an open letter, declining to attend Russia St. Petersburg's International Film Festival over the country's "homosexual propaganda" law.

"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," Miller wrote in the letter, posted on GLAAD's website. "However, as a gay man, I must decline."

"I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government," Miller continued. "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 systemically denied their basic right to live and love openly."