Wentworth Miller said that he tried to kill himself multiple times while growing up as a gay teen and later hid his sexual orientation from the public because he feared it would hurt his career.
The “Prison Break” star confessed at a Human Rights Campaign dinner in Seattle on Saturday night that it took him a long time to get comfortable with his homosexuality.
“Growing up I was a target,” Miller said. “Speaking the right way. Standing the right way. Holding your wrist the right way.”
Every day was a test, the actor said, noting, “when you failed the test, which was guaranteed, there was a price to pay. Emotional. Psychological. Physical.”
Miller said he first tried to kill himself at 15. He waited until his family was away for the weekend and swallowed a bottle of pills.
“When someone asks me if that was a cry for help, I say no, because I told no one,” Miller said. “You only cry for help if you believe there’s help to cry for. And I didn’t. I wanted out.”
Even as an adult, he feared that any admission that he was attracted to men might lead to a backlash.
“I had multiple opportunities to speak my truth, which is that I was gay, but I chose not to,” Miller said.
The 41-year old actor broke that silence last month, coming out by refusing to attend a Russian film festival. He was protesting Russian laws that discriminate against gay people.