‘I Didn’t Want to be Here’: Kerry Washington Says She Contemplated Suicide After Battling a ‘Toxic’ Eating Disorder and Years of ‘Pain’ from Self-Abuse

Kerry Washington has maintained a very private life throughout the years, despite having a high-profile career and status in Hollywood. However, the “Scandal” actress now has chosen to bare all in her new memoir, “Thicker Than Water.”

Ahead of the book’s release, the 46-year-old disclosed some personal stories from the memoir that shaped her life. While talking to “Good Morning America” co-host Robin Roberts for a “20/20” special, which aired on ABC on Sunday, Sept. 24, Washington revealed that she once contemplated suicide. 

Kerry Washington reveals how her 'toxic' eating disorder almost led her to commit suicide.
Kerry Washington reveals how her ‘toxic’ eating disorder almost led her to commit suicide. (Pictured: @kerrywashington/Instagram)

In her memoir, she described her relationship with food as a “Toxic cycle of self-abuse that utilized the tools of starvation, binge eating, body obsession, and compulsive exercise.” 

As she reflected on this troubling time during the sit-down interview, Washington noted that her eating disorder was so bad that it caused her to fall to her knees and pray “to some power greater than me” for the very first time. 

“I was good at performing perfect. I was good at control. I could party all night and drink and smoke and have sex and still show up and, you know, have good grades and I knew how to manage. I was so high-functioning,” she shared.

Although some fans have complimented her flawless figure externally, she said her internal battle with food and her body ultimately “took me out.”

“The body dysmorphia, the body hatred, it was beyond my control and really led me to feeling like I need help from somebody and something bigger than me or I am in trouble ’cause I don’t know how to live with this,” Washington said. 

She then added, “I could feel how the abuse was a way to really hurt myself as if I didn’t want to be here.” Washington continued, “It scared me that I could want to not be here because I was in so much pain.” 

After Robins asked the Emmy-nominated actor if she’s ever considered suicide, Washington confirmed, “Yeah… Yeah, the behavior was tiny little acts of trying to destroy myself.”

While discussing the “healing part” of her journey, the mother of two admitted that she still has times when she goes overboard in her relationship with food. 

“It’s not to the extreme, there’s no suicidal ideation,” Washington said. “But I know, like, ‘Oh, I’m really in this chocolate today. This is good information for me.’ The bottom has got a lot higher, where just like a little discomfort with it is enough for me to know that this is a way to check myself.” 

She also confirmed that her battle with food “looks a lot healthier” and has gotten “a lot easier” than what it previously was. 

When asked why she chose to finally speak out about personal matters, Washington stated that she’s in a space where she’s ready to be vulnerable “with purpose” rather than to garner attention. 

Her new memoir, “Thicker Than Water,” is set to be on shelves come Tuesday, Sept. 26. 

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