Michelle Williams has disclosed her depression battle before but she’s never been as candid as she was Wednesday afternoon. The singer shot to stardom as part of one of the best-selling girl groups of all time, Destiny’s Child. But while many may have been celebrating, Williams was struggling.
“I think at the age of 25, had I had a name to what I was feeling at the time, I would have disclosed that I’ve been suffering from depression,” she says on “The Talk” Oct. 18.
The star said she thought she was simply suffering from growing pains between 13 and 15 years old and didn’t discover the truth until she was in her 30s. Williams also gave credit to singer Demi Lovato for being candid about her struggles.
“I’m in one of the top-selling female groups of all time, suffering with depression,” Williams says. “And when I disclosed it to our manager, [Mathew Knowles] at the time, bless his heart, he was like, ‘You all just signed a multimillion-dollar deal. You’re about to go on tour. What do you have to be depressed about?’ So I was like, ‘Oh! Maybe I’m just tired.'”
“I think he wanted me to be grateful, which I was,” Williams continues, later adding she believes his “intentions were good.” “But I was still sad. And so I just want to normalize this mental health discussion.”
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Williams said — without going into detail — that she internalized some of the things she saw growing up, which contributed to her battle.
“It got really, really bad … to the point of I was suicidal,” Williams admits to audible gasps in the audience. “I was to that place where it got so dark and heavy … I wanted out.”
Many online applauded Williams for her honesty.
— Jonathan Azu (@jazu) October 18, 2017
— Jawn Murray (@JawnMurray) October 18, 2017
Her transparency is about to help someone. Thank you for speaking out, Michelle ❤️
— Mychereamore (@MyChereAmore) October 18, 2017
— Shameika R Writes 📝 (@Mofochronicles) October 18, 2017
And Williams is thankful for the support.
I’m so thankful for the support! I just ask that the headlines and quotes reflect what I said. I didn’t say I “wanted out of the group.” 🙏🏽
— Michelle Williams (@RealMichelleW) October 19, 2017