Dwayne Johnson Shares Emotional Story About His Mother’s Suicide Attempt

Lionel Hahn/ABACAPRESS.COM

Lionel Hahn/ABACAPRESS.COM

Dwayne the Rock Johnson may seem like one of the toughest guys in Hollywood, but he knows the importance of opening up about mental illness, depression and thoughts of suicide, especially because it is a topic that hits close to home.

On Thursday, February 1, the actor took to Instagram to share a photo from the set of his HBO series Ballers where his character is visiting a cemetery. The scene caused the actor to open up about something from his teenage years: his mother Ata Johnson’s suicide attempt.

“Not your typical scene on our comedy #ballers, as I cracked a beer open toasting my brother, William who committed suicide.  Got me thinkin’ though bout how many of us have been affected by suicide of our friends, family. Struggle and pain is real. We’ve all been there on some level or another,” he began.

He continued, “My mom tried to check out when I was 15. She got outta the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic. Big rigs and cars swerving outta the way not to hit her. I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road. What’s crazy about that suicide attempt is to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever. Probably best she doesn’t. Sh-ts of a scene to shoot – didn’t like it – but it did reminder that we always gotta do our best to really pay attention when people are in pain. Help ‘em thru it, get ‘em talkin’ about the struggle and remind ‘em that they’re not alone. We got lucky that day when I was 15 and that ain’t always the case.”

Johnson previously shared the story in 2015 on OWN’s Oprah’s Master Class, where he further explained the circumstances around his mother’s actions. “I’ll never forget it. It was probably about 1 o’clock in the afternoon. We were at a restaurant, the three of us, and they got into it. They got into a very big fight—not physical, but just really loud arguing.”

He revealed that when they left the restaurant, he followed his parents in his own car and that is when the incident happened. “I already had my license at that time at 15. We’re driving down I-65—I-65 is a major interstate that runs through Tennessee—and I’m watching them drive in front of me. Their car starts swerving, and I can clearly see that they are arguing. My old man makes a hard right, and he gets on the shoulder, on the gravel road.” When his mom got out, he said,  “She had a glazed look over her eyes that I had never seen before.”

After getting his mother safely off the road, he said, “In that moment, one of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned was how precious life is and how in an instant, it can all go away. [It] changed me.”

Not your typical scene on our comedy #ballers, as I cracked a beer open toasting my brother, William who committed suicide. Got me thinkin’ though bout how many of us have been affected by suicide of our friends, family. Struggle and pain is real. We’ve all been there on some level or another. My mom tried to check out when I was 15. She got outta the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic. Big rigs and cars swerving outta the way not to hit her. I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road. What’s crazy about that suicide attempt is to this day, she has no recollection of it whatsoever. Probably best she doesn’t. Shits of a scene to shoot – didn’t like it – but it did reminder that we always gotta do our best to really pay attention when people are in pain. Help ‘em thru it, get ‘em talkin’ about the struggle and remind ‘em that they’re not alone. We got lucky that day when I was 15 and that ain’t always the case.

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