‘Reacher’ Star Alan Ritchson Describes Not Taking Life for Granted After Suicide Attempt: ‘I Hung Myself’

Alan Ritchson
Frazer Harrison/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

Alan Ritchson, the star of Prime Video’s hit series Reacher, is not a typical Hollywood star. Not only is he quite open about his past bouts with mental health, but he is also openly religious and even hosts Bible chats on YouTube.

The tough guy actor recently sat down for a long interview with the Hollywood Reporter in which he admitted that he lives with bipolar and ADHD.

“Being bipolar has wreaked havoc on my 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,” the 41-year-old Ritchson explained.

But he says he has no problem talking about his struggles with mental health because it fulfills God’s call to serve others. And his mental health struggles have been deep. He is a survivor of sexual assault when he was a far younger man, and even once tried to commit suicide.

The actor said that he was the target of much bullying when he was a kid and that sent him to begin to focus on bodybuilding. Then he became a model after high school, but has very little nice to say about the profession.

“There are very few redeeming qualities to working in that industry. Let’s be honest, it’s like legalized sex trafficking. The industry is not regulated, and it’s a widely known secret that if you’re hired on a job, you’re basically being passed off to a photographer to be trafficked,” he exclaimed.

He added that modeling for women was even worse as they try to balance getting hired while trying to avoid “being raped.”

Indeed, the rapey aspects about modeling made him quit the whole profession after he was sent by an agent to a man who tried to sexually assault him during the shoot.

“I was booked for a shoot for this 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. I was sexually assaulted by this guy,” Ritchson revealed, adding that he went straight to his agent and said, “Fuck you for sending me there. You knew what was going to happen, and you did it anyway.” He then quit on the spot and never modeled again.

His life took a spiral after this incident when he tried to start a new film company that ended up a nightmare instead of a success. The company’s production of the 2021 film, Dark Web: Cicada 3301, drove him to the brink of suicide as conflicts with a woman who was his partner in the company threatened to end up in court with accusations of sexual assault lodged against him.

His mental state got so bad, at one point he tried to hang himself in his home. He actually wrapped a cord around his neck and jumped from the rafters. But as he began choking, he had second thoughts, grabbed the rafters, and pulled himself up, putting an end to the attempt to kill himself.

But the attempt led to some solace. “I was diagnosed as bipolar right after,” he says of receiving the news at age 36. (ADHD was a later revelation, at age 40.) It took a minute to process, and then his behavior over the many months and years made sense, he said.

Some of his change of heart is also based on his spiritual beliefs.

“What I kept falling back on was the meaning and purpose of life as someone who believes that there is a creator and we are created beings, our purpose in life is, without qualification, to make the world a better place and serve others. That is what life is all about,” he said.

Still, despite saying he is a practicing Christian, his is no fan of the Catholic Church or the way many Christian faiths now behave, saying, “Christians today have become the most vitriolic tribe. It is so antithetical to what Jesus was calling us to be and to do.”

He also blasted evangelicals for supporting Donald Trump who he thinks is a “rapist and a con man.” And Ritchson is also no fan of Catholics.

“It’s worth saying that the atrocities that are happening in the church that are being actively covered up, even to this day with people not being held accountable, is repulsive. I can’t for one second support the Catholic Church while there are still cardinals, bishops and priests being passed around with known pedophilic tendencies,” he said blasting the Catholic Church.

On the other hand, he also hosts chats about the Bible on Youtube in what he calls his “InstaChurch” videos where he talks of religion with fans. And this, he says, could make him a target among the famously religion averse Hollywood. He insisted that he told his wife that his religious social media posts “could be the last time I worked in this business.”

Ultimately, though, he is an unapologetic Christian — at least in his own fashioning of that creed.

“I’m a Christian quite simply because of what Jesus calls us to do. Love other people until death. It doesn’t mean we’re all to be hung on a cross, but how can I suffer for you? That is a beautiful thing,” he exclaimed.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston, or Truth Social @WarnerToddHuston


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.