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‘Reacher’ star Alan Ritchson attempted suicide after sexual assaults: Vision of sons saved me

“Reacher” star Alan Ritchson got candid in a new interview about past sexual assaults he experienced while working as a model.

“There are very few redeeming qualities to working in that industry. Let’s be honest, it’s like legalized sex trafficking,” Ritchson, 41, said in a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, which was published on Wednesday. “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.”

“Reacher” star Alan Ritchson revealed that he attempted suicide after being sexually assaulted. Instagram/alanritchson
“Reacher” star Alan Ritchson revealed that he attempted suicide after being sexually assaulted. Instagram/alanritchson
“Reacher” star Alan Ritchson got candid in a new interview about past sexual assaults he experienced while working as a model. Instagram/alanritchson
“Reacher” star Alan Ritchson got candid in a new interview about past sexual assaults he experienced while working as a model. Instagram/alanritchson
“I hung myself. It all happened so fast, and I was dangling there,” he told the outlet. Visions of his sons, however, whom he shares with wife Catherine Ritchson, saved him. Instagram/alanritchson
“I hung myself. It all happened so fast, and I was dangling there,” he told the outlet. Visions of his sons, however, whom he shares with wife Catherine Ritchson, saved him. Instagram/alanritchson

“The number of times and situations where I was put in horrific environments where sexual abuse was the goal and the paycheck that you were desperate for in order to survive was the carrot, I can’t count on two hands,” he went on. “You’re always dancing around this very terrible line of, ‘How do I keep the job and not completely offend this photographer or this agent or whoever set this thing up, and how do I not get raped?’ I completely empathize with women who deal with dynamic power struggles with predatory people in the workplace.”

“It’s still unfair, but if I really had to, I could get myself out of whatever room I was in through a physical altercation. Most women don’t have that option. Imagine how terrifying it must be.”

Ritchson modeled for brands such as JC Penney and Calvin Klein. He eventually quit the business after being sexually assaulted by a “very famous photographer.”

AP
AP

“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,” he recalled to THR. “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. You knew what was going to happen, and you did it anyway.’ I told them to never call me again.”

He explained that the photos were never seen or published from the photo shoot.

“That was it. I swore it off and thank God acting found me at the exact same time so I was able to make a switch to a new career, but it left some scars,” he said.

Ritchson modeled for brands such as JC Penney and Calvin Klein. He eventually quit the business after being sexually assaulted by a “very famous photographer.” ©Amazon/Courtesy Everett Collection
Ritchson modeled for brands such as JC Penney and Calvin Klein. He eventually quit the business after being sexually assaulted by a “very famous photographer.” ©Amazon/Courtesy Everett Collection

After multiple instances of sexual assault, he attempted suicide in 2019 because he “couldn’t take it” anymore.

“I hung myself. It all happened so fast, and I was dangling there,” he told the outlet. Visions of his sons, however, whom he shares with wife Catherine Ritchson, saved him.

“They calmly asked me not to do it, and told me that they wanted me to be here, alive and part of their lives. I was diagnosed as bipolar right after. Deep down, I was comforted to know, ‘OK, there’s a name for this,'” he continued.

“I came out of that whole thing asking myself, ‘OK, if I am going to choose to be alive here — a decision we all make, some to a greater degree than others — what am I doing? Why am I here?’ 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.”

If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call or text the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.