real life

Samuel Johnson's interview about his ex-girlfriend's suicide is honest and bold.

Trigger warning: This post deals with suicide. Some readers may find the article triggering.

He’s kind of amazing.

He experienced wild success as a young actor when he scored the role of Evan Wylde on hit TV series The Secret Life of Us, but Samuel Johnson says it “means nothing” to him.

Johnson is nothing if not candid.

He made the comments to Meshel Laurie on her podcast Nitty Gritty Committee, adding that at the height of his fame, the show was just “an annoyance I had to fit in”.

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Samuel Johnson, sans beret. Image via Getty

“I had to squeeze in 12 to 14 hour days with this piece of shit that had no credibility whatsoever. I couldn’t even believe I was on it. I couldn’t believe my life had come to that and I’d ended up being just this TV whore.”

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Most young actors would kill for the opportunity Johnson had as the protagonist on Secret Life, but he was, he says, a “pretentious young artist”.

“I even donned a beret at one point,” he said, “I was that much of a fuckhead.”

Life came into sharp focus for Johnson when his girlfriend Lainie Woodlands took her own life in 2006.

“I met and fell in love with a beautiful young lady called Lainie,” he told Laurie.

Samuel Johnson with the Secret Life cast.

“She was a bit too amazing though and I couldn’t quite handle it so I kind of bailed on her and then she killed herself, which was charming, so considerate.”

He’s had to make a conscious decision not to blame himself for her death.

“I knew I wasn’t the cause,” he said.

“I’m OK with being the straw that broke the camel’s back and that’s how I can choose not to feel guilty about it because ultimately there are a lot of other things that went into that act that she committed to.”

Johnson’s life is strewn with sadness. His own mother committed suicide after his father left her when Johnson was a toddler, and his beloved sister Connie is dying from breast cancer.

Johnson with his sister Connie as they record an audio version of their e-book. Image via Instagram.

After a tumultuous career and personal life, Johnson’s wide, puckish grin belies his steely determination to now live his life on his own terms.

He’s currently fronting SBS doco-series Hipsters, but before that, he set a unicycling world record in honour of Connie Johnson, raising $1.4 million – he covered 15,955km in 364 days.

He called the feat “Love Your Sister”.

If this post brings up issues for you, or you just need someone to talk to, please call Lifeline on 131 114. You can also visit the Lifeline website here and the Beyond Blue website here.

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