Kerry Washington contemplated suicide while battling ‘toxic’ eating disorder

Kerry Washington remembers the darkest stage of her eating disorder.

The actress told Robin Roberts in a “20/20” special airing Sunday that she contemplated suicide amid “a toxic cycle of self-abuse that utilized the tools of starvation, binge eating, body obsession and compulsive exercise.”

In the interview clip, released via Twitter Thursday, Washington, 46, recalled “trying to destroy” herself.

“I could feel how the abuse was a way to really hurt myself, as if I didn’t want to be here,” the Golden Globe nominee explained. “It scared me that I could not want to be here because I was in so much pain.”

Kerry Washington recalled contemplating suicide during her eating disorder battle.

Kerry Washington
The actress was “trying to hurt” herself during a “toxic … cycle.”

Kerry Washington
“It scared me,” the “Scandal” star told “20/20” viewers.

When Roberts, 62, asked the “Little Fires Everywhere” star whether she had considered suicide at that time, Washington replied, “Yeah, yeah.”

She added, “The behavior was tiny little acts of trying to destroy myself.”

While the Emmy winner was “so high-functioning” in other areas of life, she said that “the food took [her] out” with “body dysmorphia” and “body hatred … beyond [her] control.”

Kerry Washington at 2022 Met Gala
Washington now “check[s]” herself.
Getty Images

Washington said, “It really led me to feeling like, ‘I need help for somebody, or something, bigger than me because I’m in trouble, and I don’t know how to live with this.’”

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The “Scandal” star currently has a “different” relationship to food and clarified that she doesn’t experience “suicidal ideation” anymore.

“The bottom has gotten a lot higher where just a little discomfort with it is enough for me to know this is a way to check myself,” she said. “But it definitely looks a lot healthier. It’s a lot easier. It’s a lot saner than it used to be.”

Kerry Washington
The Emmy winner shares her struggles in her “Thicker Than Water” memoir.

Washington, who has been vocal in the past about her eating disorder, will give a closer look at her struggles in her upcoming memoir, “Thicker Than Water.”

In an excerpt released last month, she took readers into the panic attacks she had as a child during her parents’ arguments.

Washington’s book hits shelves next Tuesday.