Jerry Maguire star Jonathan Lipnicki reveals childhood bullying and depression

Lipnicki… has revealed childhood bullying and depression – Credit: FilmMagic
Lipnicki… has revealed childhood bullying and depression – Credit: FilmMagic

Being a child star is a perilous business, as Hollywood history has shown us time and time again.

For ‘Jerry Maguire’ star Jonathan Lipnicki, who, aged six, played the impossibly cute Ray Boyd, on-screen son of Renee Zellweger’s single mum Dorothy, it seems it was particularly tough.

Rather than being impressed with his on-screen work – he also starred in movies like ‘Stuart Little’ – he’s said that he was bullied ‘relentlessly’ by other children at school for it.

Now 26, he told TooFab: “I’ve been in treatment for a very long time because I had a very serious problem with anxiety and depression.

“I felt like I didn’t know how my life was going to end up. It was the lowest point of my life.

“I didn’t go a day without going home and being upset. I didn’t go a day without being called some form of gay slur, or a hateful slur pretty much every day of middle school.

“I had my own group of friends, and people knew me, but it was a wide spectrum. It was kids who thought it was cool, but then you had kids who were really mean.

It was something I definitely had to overcome. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t affect me a little bit to this day, to a point where I do have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder where I want to prove the world wrong.”

(Credit: Everett Collection)
(Credit: Everett Collection)

He also revealed that he had panic attacks every night before school, and his anxiety caused eczema.

“All I’ve ever wanted to do my entire life is make movies. To be made fun of for the thing that you love and be told you’re not going to be a success is hard,” he said.

Lipnicki even reached out to his former co-star Tom Cruise, who took the time to help out.

“I wanted advice and also just wanted to see him again. He’s a really inspiring person to me. He still is,” he added.

“He took the time and was really gracious about it. He gave me a lot of time and a lot of great advice.”

“You have to turn it into something,” he went on. “Whether it’s arts, sports, or helping others. I think a lot of kids out there don’t have a direction to go with that pain, and they go inside of themselves and they suffer. It’s horrible.”

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