Robbie Williams opens up about past self-harming: “I had no resistance”

Robbie Williams has opened up about his history of self-harm and depression, and encouraged people to be more “careful” about the comments they make towards those in the public eye.

The pop star and former Take That member spoke candidly about his struggle with mental illness in light of a new Netflix documentary, which is set to explore his life and career.

Opening up about the new project – which will document the highs and lows he has experienced – Williams explained that he is relieved to see people taking a different approach towards mental health, and changing the attitudes that were prominent when he was at the height of his fame.

“Thank God mental health is being talked about in a different way. I read something that triggered me, somebody talking about ‘celeb washing’ of mental illnesses,” he explained in an interview with The Mirror. “And celebs making mental health issues sexy.”

He continued, explaining that there was “nothing sexy” about his suicide attempt, and adding that people “need to be careful about what we say and how we say it.”

“The reason I say that is to qualify people are people, whether they are on [Married At First Sight] or Martin Scorsese’s new film,” he said. “We need to be careful what we accuse people of. You think such and such is laying it on thick for attention saying they have autism. It is not OK.”

Robbie Williams performs on stage during Heritage Live 2023 at Royal Sandringham Estate on August 26, 2023
Robbie Williams performs on stage during Heritage Live 2023 at Royal Sandringham Estate on August 26, 2023. CREDIT: Gus Stewart/Redferns/Getty

He opened up about his own experience of attempted suicide in a separate interview with The Sun – recalling that he had “no resistance” to stop self-harming.

“Other celebrities passed away doing what I was doing while I was doing it,” he said. “I did think, ‘Oh, I’m next’, and I didn’t care. It was sad. I had no resistance.”

He also went on to share one particularly low moment he underwent, before his solo career took off, when he self-harmed in London Bridge as “a cry for help”.

The upcoming programme about Williams’ life and career will be aired on Netflix as a new four-part documentary, arriving next Wednesday (November 8).

In a description of the docu-series (via Huffington Post), the show will feature “hundreds of hours of intimate, never-before-seen personal archive spanning 30 years, exclusive access to Robbie and helmed by an acclaimed filmmaking team”. It will also be “ the first of its kind to explore the real human being behind the salacious headlines”.

The ‘Feel’ singer has been open about his struggle with mental health throughout his three-decade-long career – particularly in recent years.

Back in 2019, he opened up about a low moment in his life where he considered taking his own life during a period where he was doing “a lot of coke” – saying he felt like he “couldn’t deal with it anymore”.

Additionally, at the start of this year, he delivered an emotional speech during a show in Amsterdam, thanking fans for “protecting” him through his struggles.

“I had no purpose and I had no life. Being on top of the world, which I was at the time, selling all of these stadiums and being in the newspapers every day… My head tells me I don’t deserve any of this. My head tells me that I’m shit and that I’m worthless,” he said.

“The one thing that counteracted that, and also kept me safe, was the fact that you guys are here, and you guys like me, and you guys want me to be well,” he told the crowd. “If it wasn’t for you, and it wasn’t for my wife, and it wasn’t for my kids now, I don’t think I’d be here. So, I’m eternally grateful to you for, in a very, very crazy, mad way, protecting me.”

He made a similar sentiment during his set at the Isle Of Wight Festival this June too, recalling that his family and his fans were the “two things” that saved him from “bailing out”.

For help and advice on mental health:

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