In an exclusive interview with People published on Wednesday (April 26th), Kevin Smith opened up about the “complete break from reality” he experienced last year. The Clerks director spent a month at Arizona's Sierra Tucson treatment center, where he received therapy centered on traumatic incidents from his childhood.
Smith explained that he previously coped with these experiences by hiding behind a “larger than life” public persona. “It was scary,” he said. “At that moment, I wouldn't have been averse to not being around any longer. I called a friend and said, 'I'm in a weird, dark place. I need to go somewhere and get help.'”
The Jay and Silent Bob star recalled a traumatic incident that occurred when he was six years old, during which an older boy that he didn’t know forced him to engage sexually with a six-year-old girl. “Luckily some adult did walk past the alley and was like, ‘What’s going on?'” he said.
“I’ve told the story in my life to other people, but always presented it as, ‘Oh, I played doctor when I was a kid,'” Smith said, adding that his therapist at the Arizona treatment center identified the incident as sexual abuse. “She goes, ‘Doctor is “I’ll show you mine. You show me yours.” There’s a third party instructing you what to do and it’s against your will. That’s sexual abuse.'”