Kerry Washington Had a ‘Toxic’ Eating Disorder
Kerry Washington is opening up about a past eating disorder. The Little Fires Everywhere star told Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts in an interview for an upcoming 20/20 special this Sunday (September 24) about how she contemplated suicide at the height of her disorder. Washington, 46, recalled via an excerpt from her new memoir Thicker Than Water the relationship she had with food and her body during her college years at George Washington University. She said it had “become a toxic cycle of self-abuse that utilized the tools of starvation, binge eating, body obsession, and compulsive exercise.”
“I could feel how the abuse was a way to really hurt myself as if I didn’t want to be here,” Washington said in her interview preview shared Thursday. At the time, she was scared she didn’t want to be here because she was in “so much pain.” Roberts asked if she considered suicide, to which Washington responded, “Yeah,” adding her behavior was “tiny little acts of trying to destroy myself.” When her disorder spiraled out of control, Kerry admitted she would pray. This was her first time praying as she struggled to maintain her “perfect” image.
Kerry was getting good at being “perfect.” She stated she was good at control, partying all night, drinking, smoking, and having sex, and “still show[ing] up and have good grades.” The Django Unchained actress was so high-functioning she knew how to manage. However, it was the food that took her out. She developed body dysmorphia and body hatred that were beyond her control. This led the actress desperate for help from someone or something bigger than her because she didn’t know how to live with the disorder and all that came with it.
.@kerrywashington opens up to @RobinRoberts about how she says her relationship with food and her body once became a toxic cycle of self-abuse: "I could not control it."— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 21, 2023
"Kerry Washington: Thicker Than Water" airs Sunday 10/9c on @ABC. https://t.co/bnnOTFBDMf pic.twitter.com/z0CxOXBqKd
Washington shared that while she is in a much better place now with her eating disorder, she still has to “check myself.” The usually private Washington says she is sharing her story now “with purpose.” Thicker Than Water releases on Tuesday, September 26.