Alan Ritchson Says He Was Sexually Assaulted by ‘Very Famous Photographer’

Reacher actor Alan Ritchson is opening up about being sexually assaulted at the hands of a "very famous photographer" during his modeling days and the impact that and multiple similar experiences had on his mental health.

"There are very few redeeming qualities to working in that industry. Let's be honest, it's like legalized sex trafficking," Ritchson, 41, said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published April 3. "The industry is not regulated, and it's a widely known secret that if you're hired on a job, you're basically being passed off to a photographer to be trafficked. The number of times and situations where I was put in horrific environments where sexual abuse was the goal and the paycheck that you were desperate for in order to survive was the carrot, I can't count on two hands."

Ritchson went on to recall being assaulted by a notable photographer, although he didn't name his attacker. "I was booked for a shoot for this very famous photographer. I was sent into a hotel room to do nudes with the promise that if I did the shoot, he would offer me a very lucrative campaign for a magazine and a clothing line. I was sexually assaulted by this guy. I left and drove straight to the agency that I was at in L.A. I stormed in and said, 'F-k you for sending me there. You knew what was going to happen, and you did it anyway,'" he recalled. "I told them to never call me again. I quit the industry and it was the last photoshoot I've ever had. Those pictures were never seen or published. That was it. I swore it off and thank God acting found me at the exact same time so I was able to make a switch to a new career, but it left some scars."

Even after exiting the modeling industry, Ritchson, struggled with his mental health, leading to a suicide attempt in 2019. "I hung myself. It all happened so fast, and I was dangling there," he told the outlet. Ultimately, Ritchson had a vision of his three sons, whom he shares with wife Catherine Ritchson, that saved his life. In the vision, his young sons were in their mid-30s and "calmly asked me not to do it, and told me that they wanted me to be here, alive and part of their lives."

Ritchson was able to pull himself up before he blacked out and immediately called a doctor. "I was diagnosed as bipolar right after," he said, noting that at age 40, he would also be diagnosed with ADHD. "Deep down, I was comforted to know, 'OK, there's a name for this.'"

After a long struggle with his mental health, the actor concluded, "I came out of that whole thing asking myself, 'OK, if I am going to choose to be alive here – a decision we all make, some to a greater degree than others – what am I doing? Why am I here?' What I kept falling back on was the meaning and purpose of life as someone who believes that there is a creator and we are created beings, our purpose in life is, without qualification, to make the world a better place and serve others. That is what life is all about."

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call or text 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. The previous Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available.