Home News ‘Reacher’ star Alan Ritchson reveals sexual assault, suicide attempt in candid interview

‘Reacher’ star Alan Ritchson reveals sexual assault, suicide attempt in candid interview

Alan Ritchson, the star of Prime Video’s “Reacher,” got candid about his experience being sexually assaulted while working as a model, as well as his suicide attempt in 2019, during a recent sit-down with The Hollywood Reporter.

Ritchson, 41, said he began his career modeling for brands such as JC Penney and Calvin Klein, but quit the business after being sexually assaulted following a photo shoot with a “very famous photographer.”

“I was sent into a hotel room to do nudes with the promise that if I did the shoot, he would offer me a very lucrative campaign for a magazine and a clothing line,” he told the outlet, without naming the photographer.

“I was sexually assaulted by this guy. I left and drove straight to the agency that I was at in L.A. I stormed in and said, ‘F–k you for sending me there,’” Ritchson explained, adding he believed his agent knew of the photographer’s inappropriate behavior and sent him on the gig anyway.

The traumatic event led him to swear off the industry — one he says is still largely unregulated, so much so that it’s understood “you’re basically being passed off to a photographer to be trafficked” when you book a job.

Ritchson would eventually pivot to acting, landing small roles in low-budget flicks and later the superhero TV series “Smallville.” He gained more recognition as a meat-headed football player named Thad Castle in “Blue Mountain State,” his first series-regular role.

Although he continued to find success, with roles in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and “Titans,” the actor began a downward spiral after the dissolution of a film fund which he co-founded, and which ended with an ugly blackmail from his then-business partner.

“She gave me an ultimatum to come to her room and said that if I didn’t, she would destroy the business and she would destroy me by calling TMZ to claim I sexually assaulted her,” the actor said, admitting that the incident and demise of his business “really broke me in that moment, and it took me a while to recover.”

His depression became so heavy that he was “stuck in bed for weeks.” One day in 2019, he made a near-fatal attempt on his own life.

“I hung myself. It all happened so fast, and I was dangling there,” Ritchson said, recounting the moment in the attic of the home he shared with his wife, Cat, and their three sons, now 11, 10 and 8.

In that moment, he said, he had a vision of his sons in their 30s, telling him “not to do it, and … that they wanted me to be here, alive and part of their lives.”

The actor said he was able to use his strength to pull himself up just before he blacked out, and the experience was enough to prompt him to seek help. He was quickly diagnosed with bipolar disorder after consulting a doctor.

“Deep down, I was comforted to know, ‘OK, there’s a name for this,’” Ritchson revealed, while also acknowledging that being bipolar “has wrecked havoc” on his life “many, many times.”

“I would wish it away if I could, but it’s so much a part of who I am now that I should celebrate it a little or, at least, accept it,” he told the outlet. “Mental health is an everyday conversation for me.”


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