‘Reacher’ Star Alan Ritchson Opens Up About Suicide Attempt, Says He Was Sexually Assaulted While Modeling


Alan Ritchson is opening up about his tumultuous journey to stardom.

In an intimate conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Ritchson is candid about his current struggle with bipolar disorder and ADHD, a suicide attempt that he says helped him get over his children, and his history of being a victim of sexual assault.

Reflecting on his modeling days before diving headlong into acting, the Reacher star, 41 years old, account THR that there are “very few redeeming qualities” about being a model.

“Let’s be honest, it’s like legalized sex trafficking. The industry is unregulated, and it’s a widely known secret that if they hire you for a job, they basically hand you over to a photographer to traffic you,” he says. . “The number of times and situations where I was put in horrible environments where sexual abuse was the goal and the paycheck you were desperate to survive was the carrot, I can’t count on two hands. It was pretty frequent.”

Ritchson said the low-profile modeling jobs were a blessing, but those jobs only paid the bills for a while. The actor claimed that after accepting a nude shoot linked to an offer for a “lucrative campaign”, he was sexually assaulted by a “very famous photographer”.

“I left and drove straight to the agency I was at in Los Angeles. I walked in furious and said, ‘Fuck you for sending me there. You knew what was going to happen and you did it anyway,'” she said. Blue Mountain State says the alum. “I told them to never call me again. I left the industry and it was the last photo shoot I had. Those photos were never seen or published. That was it. I swore and thank God acting found me at exactly the same time, so I was able to switch to a new career, but it left some scars.”

Alan Ritchson Mike Coppola/Getty Images

After leaving the modeling world, the actor’s rise to stardom was a long and winding road. He has become a familiar face to avid television viewers who have seen the actor as Aquaman in smallville in 2005 before Justin Hartley took on the recurring role later in the series. He landed a multi-season run on the Spike TV comedy. Blue Mountain StateHe made brief appearances in several major series, including black mirror, new girland Brooklyn nine nineand played Hank Hall/Hawk in Titans before landing his starring role in Reacher.

But leaving the modeling industry wasn’t the end of Ritchson’s trials and tribulations. The actor described how the demise of a business relationship “triggered an existential crisis” that ultimately led to a suicide attempt in 2019.

“I hanged myself. Everything happened very quickly and I was hanging there,” he says. THR. Ritchson said it was a vision from his sons, Calem, 11, Edan, 10, and Amory, 8, all in their 30s, that saved him. “They calmly asked me not to do it and told me that they wanted me to be here, alive and part of their lives.”

“I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder right after,” he adds of receiving the bipolar disorder diagnosis at age 36.

Ritchson concludes that the experience finally allowed him to accept his choice to be alive. “I came out of that whole thing wondering, ‘Okay, if I’m going to choose to be alive here, a decision we all make, some to a greater extent than others, what am I doing? Why am I here?’ What I kept coming back to was the meaning and purpose of life as someone who believes that there is a creator and that we are created beings, our purpose in life is, without reservation, to make the world a better place and serve others. what life is about.”

Ritchson has been vocal about his bipolar disorder diagnosis, as well as recently being diagnosed with ADHD. In an interview for Men’s health‘s On the March cover, the actor shared that he sees a psychiatrist who tries to screen for any symptoms every week, while his wife of nearly 20 years, Catherine Ritchson, and his assistant, who have a deep understanding of the disorder, know what to look for. for and how to help control any episode.

While it may seem like an overwhelming obstacle to your work, Ritchson told the outlet who has found greater purpose in talking about his mental health on his YouTube channel. He said he hopes sharing his experiences can make others feel less alone in their own tunnels of mental illness, just as doing so has brought him out of periods of suicidal ideation.

It also helps that he has built a love life in addition to acting with his wife and three children.

In a post shared on Catherine’s 40th birthday on March 21, the actor gushed about his wife’s influence on his life.

“I’ve known her since we were teenagers. It hasn’t been easy at all. But I will say this: she has the great gift (and burden) of awakening anyone within reach of her light to their higher self. She has accomplished it with me. in powerful ways and if you are ever lucky enough to meet her, she will certainly have that effect on you,” Ritchson captioned the photo carousel. “She embodies goodness and light. The world is objectively better because you are in it, Cat.”

He Reacher The star concluded his message to his wife on a sweet note, writing, “We look forward to an infinite number of cake days with you.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in 988. If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).


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