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Kerry Washington Opens Up About Past Struggles with Eating Disorder and Suicidal Thoughts


In a candid interview with Robin Roberts for a 20/20 special airing on Sunday, actress Kerry Washington, now 46, revealed the painful challenges she faced during her college years while battling an eating disorder. She disclosed contemplating suicide as part of her emotional journey.

Washington described the cycle of “binge eating and endless exercise” she underwent, driven by the pursuit of a “perfect” image. Her upcoming memoir, “Thicker Than Water,” delves into this difficult period in her life.

The star admitted that her life became a “toxic cycle of self-abuse” that involved starvation, binge eating, body obsession, and compulsive exercise. She explained, “I could feel how the abuse was a way to really hurt myself, as if I didn’t want to be here. It scared me that I could not want to be here because I was in so much pain.”

When asked about considering suicide, she replied, “Yeah. Yeah… The behavior was tiny little acts of trying to destroy myself.”

Washington acknowledged that her eating disorder was the first major turning point in her struggle, leading her to seek help. She had excelled in projecting a facade of perfection but found that her relationship with food had spiraled out of control.

Despite overcoming the worst of her disorder, Washington confessed that she occasionally has to “check herself” with regards to food. She emphasized that her current approach is much healthier and saner than in the past.

In 2020, Washington had previously discussed her eating disorder, detailing the secrecy, guilt, and shame associated with it. She sought therapy to address her disorder and emphasized the importance of self-love and expression.

Kerry Washington, known for her roles in “Scandal” and various acclaimed films, is also recognized for her activism. She and her husband, former NFL star Nnamdi Asomugha, share two children.

If you or someone you know needs support now, call or text 988 or visit chat 988lifeline.org. For those struggling with eating disorders, please visit NationalEatingDisorders.org for assistance.

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Written by:
Dana Sterling-Editor


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