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Wentworth Miller slams fat-shaming Internet meme, reveals battle with depression

Prison Break star Wentworth Miller is firing back after an online meme taunted him for his weight gain
Wentworth Miller

Wentworth Miller, star of Prison Break and Legends of Tomorrow, has penned a heartfelt, stirring response to critics who poked fun of his weight gain with a hurtful Internet meme.

The actor, 43, was the subject of a recent post shared by online community The LAD Bible, which placed two pictures of Wentworth side by side – one showing him looking toned and lean during his Prison Break days and another showing him looking slightly larger after filming had wrapped.

The caption read: “When you break out of prison and find out about McDonald’s monopoly.”

With 101k shares and thousands of comments, Wentworth soon came across the image, and he wasn’t content to sit back and let the vicious message behind the meme go unanswered.

In a personal essay posted to Facebook, Wentworth spoke about having battled depression since he was a child. He revealed that the ‘fat’ photo was taken during a time where he was battling suicidal thoughts, and that he had been caught out by paparazzi during a hike with a friend.

The original meme, which was shared by The LAD Bible.

“At the lowest point in my adult life, I was looking everywhere for relief/comfort/distraction. And 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,” he wrote in the lengthy Facebook post.

“And I put on weight. Big f*ing deal.

“One day, out for a hike in Los Angeles with a friend, we crossed paths with a film crew shooting a reality show. Unbeknownst to me, paparazzi were circling. They took my picture, and the photos were published alongside images of me from another time in my career. “Hunk To Chunk.” “Fit To Flab.” Etc.”

Wentworth with co-stars Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter at a press event for his 2010 movie Resident Evil: Afterlife. Photo: Getty

But Wentworth, who hit the big time playing Michael Scofield on the popular prison drama, remains defiant in the face of the trolls who criticise him.

“Long story short, I survived. So do those pictures. I’m glad.

“Now, when I see that image of me in my red t-shirt, a rare smile on my face, I am reminded of my struggle. My endurance and my perseverance in the face of all kinds of demons. Some within. Some without. Like a dandelion up through the pavement, I persist.

“Anyway. Still. Despite.

Wentworth with his Prison Break co-star Dominic Purcell at Comic-Con last year.

“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.

“If you or someone you know is struggling, help is available. Reach out. Text. Send an email. Pick up the phone. Someone cares. They’re waiting to hear from you. Much love. – W.M”

Watch: Wentworth speaks about his struggles with depression at the 2013 Human Rights Campaign dinner

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LAD Bible have since removed the post and apologised to Wentworth, writing on their Facebook page: “We posted two pictures of you last night to our Facebook page, but today we want to say we’ve 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.”

If you, or someone you know, needs help, contact:

The Mental Health Foundation’s free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812) will refer callers to some of the helplines below:

Lifeline – 0800 543 354

Depression Helpline (8 am to 12 midnight) – 0800 111 757

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else) – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Youthline – 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email [email protected]

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