Robbie Williams was “belittled” for discussing mental health in the '90s
"I know celebs are celebs, but they're people too."
In his new self-titled documentary, Robbie Williams speaks candidly about his struggles with mental health, following his rise to fame as a member of Take That at just 16 years old.
The four-part series, which launches on Netflix on Wednesday 8th November, features never-before-seen archived footage of the star, including the highs and lows of his career and his battles with drugs and alcohol.
In the documentary, Williams watches the archived footage from his career, something he described as "traumatic" at times.
Speaking to press including RadioTimes.com, the pop icon said: "Nobody likes looking at photographs of themselves, and nobody likes hearing their own voice. So if you multiply that by watching yourself suffer with mental illness, breakdowns, alcoholism, depression, agoraphobia. All of the above. It's, you know, you're in a sort of torturous headlock."
In more recent years, celebrities have began to speak more openly about their mental health struggles, including Lewis Capaldi, who earlier this year took some time off for his mental health.
Speaking to a Glastonbury crowd, Capaldi said: "I recently took three weeks off. It was a break for my mental health. I wanted to come back and do Glasto 'cause it's so incredible, so I just wanna thank you for watching us. I was scared but you've really made me feel at ease."
Williams told RadioTimes.com and other press that he had, in fact, reached out to Capaldi.
He went on to say: "If somebody phoned me today, I'd be able to talk them through it a bit better, and give them a bit of hope. I've said in another interview, you know, I moaned so Lewis Capaldi could wail."
While speaking further about the toll fame took on him, he urged people to be careful with how they speak about celebrities and mental health, because above all else – they are people too.
"I think that if there is a thing called 'celeb washing' when it comes to deal[ing] with mental illnesses, we better be careful what, who we say and how we say," he explained.
He reflected on his early career days in the '90s, and told press including RadioTimes.com he was "berated and belittled" when he tried to talk about his mental health struggles.
Williams said: "I remember in the '90s when I tried to talk about what was going on with me, I was berated and belittled and told to pull my socks up, and what that does is actually isolates you even more.
"I know celebs are celebs, but they're people too. I'm not the hero that they wanted, but I'm the hero that they need. And I'm gonna stand up for all celebs."
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