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Long before The Butler raked up $100 million in the box office, director Lee Daniels said he had thoughts of taking his own life.

During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 54-year-old openly gay man said he was bullied for his sexuality growing up.

“I had a rough childhood growing up — very rough,” he said. “Oftentimes I wanted to kill myself as a kid. You know, I was bullied because I was gay. And then I was bullied because I was black going to an all-white school later on.”

Now, looking back, Daniels said, “Thank God I didn’t kill myself, huh?”

“I think that the universe took care and God took care of me. I am the product of that environment,” he explained.

Daniels is not the only Black celebrity to speak openly about their sexuality in 2013. This year, “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts and basketball star Jason Collins came out of the closet.

Director Lee Daniels Admits ‘I Wanted To Kill Myself As A Kid’ was originally published on

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