Diff’rent Strokes star Todd Bridges has written a new autobiography entitled, ‘Killing Willis: From Diff’rent Strokes to the Mean Streets to the Life I Always Wanted’ and has hit the promo trail hard by appearing on several talk shows this week. I saw him last night on Inside Edition but he’s also appeared on the Today Show, Wendy Williams & Fox News.
Some of the details he’s discussing include struggling with his sexuality after being molested by a male publicist, as well as his struggles as a young Black actor growing up in Hollyweird.
When the show got cancelled is when my life fell apart, cause everything caught up with me. I made some stupid personal choices but I can’t blame Hollywood. I made some horrible choices that cost me.
At 12 years old I was molested by my publicist and my father took my publicist side. I was also abused by my father and I was harrased by the LAPD on a regular bases.
I remember at 12 years old, I was riding my bike with a group of White friends and the police pulled us over and took my bike and said it was stolen. My mother had to go down to the station to get my bike back.
A week later they took me to the station and she had to come get me out. At 12 years old! And I was on a top rated show. At 12 years old you shouldn’t be going through things like that.
In the video below, Todd sits down with Meredith Vieira of the Today Show. He talks about why he named his memoir “Killing Willis” and discusses the first chapter of the book where he talks about suicide.
Somewhere around 6 minutes in, Todd details his sexual relationship with his TV sister Dana Plato, who he credits with helping him though his struggles with his sexuality:
Video ~ Todd Bridges on Today Show (Part I)
In Part II of Todd’s today show interview, he talks about how he’s perceived as a career criminal after his 1992 arrest even after he’s been clean and sober for almost 20 years.
Video ~ Todd Bridges on Today Show (Part II)
Todd also talks about speaking to his former flame, co-star Dana Plato just 3 days prior to her death from a drug overdose and also how he tried to intervene with Cory Haim. He admits that as a former drug addict, he should be dead as well from the choices he made, which is one of the reasons he decided to write about his recovery and forgiveness in his book.
I forgive the man who molested me. It was hard to do but I forgive him because he did such a heinous act on me. It wasn’t my fault and I understand that. I forgive him.
I forgive my father for the things he did…and most of all I forgive me. And that’s the toughest thing. I want people to learn to forgive themselves because when you forgive yourself you can really help other people find themselves.
I commend Todd on making it through and hope he continues on his path of recovery. Hopefully he can touch his former co-star Gary Coleman before it’s too late.
I’ll definitely be picking up a copy of this book with hopes that he left at least a few juicy details inside… CLICK HERE if you care to check it out.