‘Reacher’ star Alan Ritchson recalls attempting suicide after sexual assaults

Alan Ritchson vulnerably revealed he attempted suicide after being the victim of multiple sexual assaults.

“I hung myself,” the actor, who has appeared in series such as “Blue Mountain State,” “Smallville” and “Black Mirror,” and currently stars in Prime Video’s “The Reacher,” told the Hollywood Reporter in a profile published Wednesday.

His attempt took place in the attic of his Encino, Calif. home with a green extension cord. “It all happened so fast, and I was dangling there,” he recalled.

However, Ritchson made a last-minute decision to pull himself up before he blacked out after he saw a vision of his sons, Calem, 11, Edan, 10, and Amory, 8, in their mid-30s.

Alan Ritchson revealed during an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that he attempted suicide after being the victim of multiple sexual assaults. Instagram/alanritchson
“I hung myself,” the “Reacher” star said. Instagram/alanritchson
“It all happened so fast, and I was dangling there,” he added. Instagram/alanritchson

“They calmly asked me not to do it, and told me that they wanted me to be here, alive and part of their lives,” he noted. He shares his sons with his wife of nearly 20 years, Catherine Ritchson.

Ritchson, 41, said he sought help immediately after the alarming incident, which led to his bipolar diagnosis at age 36. A few years later, at the age of 40, he learned he had been living with ADHD as well.

His suicide attempt came after years of sexual assaults that followed him from the modeling industry into the acting world and “broke” him, he explained to THR.

Ritchson said a vision of his sons, Calem, 11, Edan, 10, and Amory, 8, inspired him to end his attempt. Instagram/alanritchson
He shares his sons with his wife, Catherine Ritchson, whom he married in 2006. Instagram/alanritchson

“There are very few redeeming qualities to working in [the modeling] industry. Let’s be honest, it’s like legalized sex trafficking,” he claimed. “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.”

“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. It was quite often.”

One alleged incident led the father of three to quit the modeling world forever.

Ritchson attempted suicide after going through several sexual assaults. Instagram/alanritchson
He said he was sexually abused multiple times as a model. Instagram/alanritchson
He quit the industry after a “famous photographer” assaulted him. Instagram/alanritchson

“I was booked for a shoot for this very famous photographer,” he remembered. “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.”

Later on, when he had successfully transitioned into the television and film industry, another devastating blow led to the deterioration of his mental health.

Ritchson said he had been in business meetings all day with a person he partnered with for a film fund they had high hopes for, but things turned sour when his partner threatened him.

Unfortunately, he was sexually abused again after a day of meetings with his business partner in the film world. AP
He claimed, “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.” AP

“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,” he claimed.

While the threats never amounted to anything, the former model was devastated by what had happened. “I was super depressed and didn’t know how to navigate that,” he explained. He attempted suicide not long after.


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Ritchson said he regularly speaks with his psychiatrist as he navigates his mental health struggles, bipolar disorder and ADHD.

He has also found more meaningful work to fuel his soul, which includes speaking about his past issues.

Ritchson was diagnosed with bipolar disorder shortly after his suicide attempt at the age of 36. GC Images
When he was 40, he was diagnosed with ADHD. Instagram/alanritchson
He said he regularly works with a psychiatrist to navigate his struggles. Instagram/alanritchson

“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?’” he recalled.

“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.

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