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Wentworth Miller responds to fat-shaming post

Wentworth Miller, shown in 2007, wrote about his

Wentworth Miller, shown in 2007, wrote about his emotional reaction to a meme post that showed him in 2010 after gaining weight. Credit: AP / Matt Sayles

Actor Wentworth Miller has admonished a website for posting fat-shaming images of the “Prison Break” star at different weights, revealing he turned to food during a suicidal battle with depression.

“Today I found myself the subject of an Internet meme. Not for the first time,” Miller, 43, posted on Facebook on Monday. “This one, however, stands out from the rest,” he continued, showing a since-deleted Facebook post by U.K.-based young-men’s site The LAD Bible. Side-by-side photos show a skinny Miller in character as Michael Scofield in the 2005-2009 Fox series “Prison Break” alongside one of a heavier yet barely overweight Miller years later. “When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald’s monopoly . . . ” a caption read.

“In 2010, semi-retired from acting, I was keeping a low-profile for a number of reasons,” Miller wrote. “First and foremost, I was suicidal. This is a subject I’ve since written about, spoken about, shared about. But at the time I suffered in silence. As so many do. The extent of my struggle known to very, very few. Ashamed and in pain, I considered myself damaged goods. And the voices in my head urged me down the path to self-destruction. Not for the first time.”

Saying he has struggled with depression since childhood, Miller wrote that in seeking “relief/comfort/distraction . . . 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 [expletive] deal.”

He added that when he sees that years-old paparazzi image, “I am reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without. . . . The first time I saw this meme pop up in my social media feed, I have to admit, it hurt to breathe. But as with everything in life, I get to assign meaning. And the meaning I assign to this/my image is Strength. Healing. Forgiveness. Of myself and others.”

The website subsequently removed the post and ran an apology. Addressing Miller, the site conceded it “got this very, very wrong. Mental health is no joke or laughing matter. We certainly didn’t want to cause you pain by reminding you of such a low point in your life. Causing distress and upset to innocent or vulnerable people is simply not acceptable. . . . Once again, we got this very wrong, and we wanted to say sorry.”

Both this post and Miller’s ran links to multiple suicide-prevention organizations.

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