Former Prison Break star Wentworth Miller responded to body-shamers in the best way possible this week, opening up about his battle with depression and an eating disorder after an Internet meme poking fun at his weight went viral on Facebook.
The now-deleted meme originated on The LAD Bible Facebook page, and showed a picture of the 43-year-old star shirtless during his Prison Break days next to one taken years later, where he is heavier and obviously caught off-guard by the paparazzi.
The caption read: “When you break out of prison and find out about McDonalds monopoly …”
The post racked up more than 101,000 likes and was shared more than 12,000 times before Miller shared it himself, along with the painful memories associated with the picture on the right.
“I’ve struggled with depression since childhood. It’s a battle that’s cost me time, opportunities, relationships, and a thousand sleepless nights,” he wrote.
“In 2010, at the lowest point in my adult life, I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction. And I turned to food. It could have been anything. Drugs. Alcohol. Sex. But eating became the one thing I could look forward to. Count on to get me through. There were stretches when the highlight of my week was a favorite meal and a new episode of TOP CHEF. Sometimes that was enough. Had to be.”
“And I put on weight. Big f–king deal.”
He continued: “One day, out for a hike in Los Angeles with a friend, we crossed paths with a film crew shooting a reality show. Unbeknownst to me, paparazzi were circling. They took my picture, and the photos were published alongside images of me from another time in my career. “Hunk To Chunk.” “Fit To Flab.” Etc.”
Miller, who came out as gay in 2013, spoke candidly about contemplating suicide as a teen at a 2013 HRC gala.
Fortunately he’s learned how to cope with the ongoing pain by turning it into a positive.
“Now, when I see that image of me in my red t-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle,” he wrote. “My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without.”
Before hitting “post,” Miller shared several links to suicide prevention services.
“If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available,” he wrote. “Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They’re waiting to hear from you.”
Check out the post below (which, by the way, has clocked far more likes and shares than the original meme):