Alex Winter, the actor most famous for starring opposite Keanu Reeves in the 1989 hit “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” has revealed he was sexually abused as a child actor in Hollywood. Winter broke his silence during an interview with BBC 5 Live. The actor said the abuse had a “hellish” impact on him as a young boy and resulted in post-traumatic stress disorder.
“That was evident to me while I was still in my teens,” he said of the PTSD. “And so I began to do work on it. But it really took time, and it really wasn’t in my case, I would say, ’til well into my 30s, that I was really able to do heavy lifting on this stuff.”
Winter said the abuse occurred in the 1970s when he was a child star and he had long kept quiet on the incident because he always viewed it as a “potentially dangerous secret.” He was also aware of the taboo nature of child abuse. While he did not name his abuser, he did say the man has since passed away.
“There is a power dynamic that does put you in a position where you’re afraid for your own safety,” he said of fears over going public with his story. “So there’s that, on top of the taboo nature of being public.”
“These problems aren’t going to get sorted out overnight, because frankly, these issues are part of the fabric of human nature, and they’ve existed since there have been human beings walking around on the planet,” he continued. “So it’s going to take time, it’s going to take mental health work, it’s going to take the capacity of society to listen to some very unpleasant truths about itself. And there’s no doubt that that’s going to take time.”
Winter went on to call his work on “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” in 1989 “therapeutic” for the PTSD he was suffering. You can watch his BBC 5 Live interview in the video below.