Colton Haynes went from very poor to very rich and famous. That rise to fame took its toll on the Teen Wolf star mentally, physically, and emotionally. In his new memoir, Miss Memory Lane, the Arrow hunk recalls a childhood marred by poverty, sexual abuse, and an absentee father.
Realizing early he was gay Haynes knew he had to get out of his small town in Kansas. Winding up in New York City then Hollywood booking gigs as a model his rise to television fame was filled with years of abusing drugs and an eating disorder. Now sober after a stint in rehab Haynes is ready for his comeback.
In an exclusive interview with People magazine the Scream Queens actor, 33, discussed his early years and family life,
“My parents had this volatile, really dangerous love. That ‘love in a hopeless place’ kind of situation. That Rihanna song. My mom was afraid for us when my dad would return, but she was also eager to get us out of the house so they could rip it apart.”
Armed with a fake ID, the then 15-year-old started go-go dancing in gay bars and having relationships with much older men. After being sexually abused by an uncle when he was six his feelings and attitude towards sex were complicated,
“I’ve always had issues with sex because well it’s a tricky thing when you’re forced to do that at a very young age. I knew I wasn’t supposed to be doing those things, but with him, I could do those things. As a kid, you don’t know those things are wrong, but you also instinctively know you can’t say anything.”
Auditioning in Hollywood after years of modeling for companies like Abercrombie and Fitch [fun fact: Haynes filled boots with socks to appear taller in his first go-see for a modeling agency] Haynes worked the audition circuit but was deemed too gay to book most roles, “I knew I had to change everything about myself,” taking mannerism classes to ‘straighten up.’ The comfortably out Haynes went back into the closet. And guess what? Haynes shot to superstardom on Teen Wolf in 2011, and Arrow in 2012. Trying to come out, again, was met with resistance from agents and managers, and addiction to Adderall and Xanax developed quickly.
Things slowed down professionally after Haynes came out, again, publicly in 2016, “I [was] only offered roles like the ‘gay best friend.’ Same thing for paid sponsorship gigs, “The only thing I was offered after I came out was to be the face of Grindr.” A marriage in 2017 to celebrity florist Jeff Leatham ended in divorce six months later. Haynes hit his rock bottom in 2018 waking up in a hospital bed after overdosing on Oxycontin, Xanax, and tequila,
“I had tubes coming out of every hole in my body. I couldn’t see out of my left eye. My mother had died from alcoholism. My dad had killed himself with OxyContin. I had set out not to be anything like my parents.”
Sober now, Haynes is ready to be back in the spotlight and eager for Hollywood to catch up with the times, “Name one leading actor, male romantic lead, who’s openly gay?” If anyone can achieve that our money is bet on Haynes.