Lee Ryan opens up about witnessing the suicide of his friend’s father

Ellie Harrison
·2-min read
Lee Ryan (Rex Features)
Lee Ryan (Rex Features)

Blue star Lee Ryan has spoken about the trauma he faced as a child after seeing a friend's father take his own life.

The 37-year-old singer told the Family Business podcast that the event affected him “really badly” for years afterwards and convinced him he would “die young”.

Recalling the incident that occurred outside his home in Plumstead, south-east London, Ryan said: “I remember watching a film and I heard, ‘Bang, bang.’ I was like, ‘What the f*** is that?’

“I actually looked outside and I saw my friend lying on the floor holding her shoulder and her dad walked out with a sawn-off shotgun. He walked out into the middle of the road, stuck it to her head and went to shoot it but he’d already done two shots, so he went back inside, re-loaded, and she got up and ran off.”

Ryan continued: “Then he turned around and he put the gun to his head and blew his brains out.”

Adding that a woman and her child were also murdered in his block of flats, Ryan said: “I think growing up I had a lot of things to deal with that I’d seen and then I got famous. It’s not a good mix.”

Speaking about how he felt after he became famous with the band Blue in the Noughties, he said: “I was like, ‘I've got loads of money in the bank, I'm in the biggest boy band in the country and I honestly thought I might die young.’I honestly thought I might join the 27 club and I didn't give a f***, I thought it would be a good way to go out. That's why I just acted like a nut job.”

Ryan previously said he used to drink a bottle of whiskey a day to “numb the pain” and that he still has a hard time with alcohol addiction “now and again".

The singer is planning a comeback tour with Blue to mark the 20th anniversary of the release of their debut album.

You can find helpful tips on how to start a conversation, or if you are worried about someone else, on Samaritans website.

You can contact the Samaritans helpline by calling 116 123. The helpline is free and open 24 hours a day every day of the year.

You can also contact Samaritans by emailing jo@samaritans.org. The average response time is 24 hours.

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