Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Says He Witnessed His Mother’s Suicide Attempt

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has battled and defeated numerous foes on the silver screen, but when the cameras stopped rolling, his trials and tribulations were far from over. In an interview with Express while promoting his latest film Rampage, the former pro-wrestler revealed his longtime battle with depression and confronting memories of his mother, Ata Johnson’s attempted suicide when he was a teen.

At 15 years old, the world-renowned actor remembers an eviction notice being plastered onto his mother’s apartment door that presumably led to a near-fatal incident. “She got out of the car on Interstate 65 in Nashville and walked into oncoming traffic,” he said. “I grabbed her and pulled her back on the gravel shoulder of the road.” Johnson added that his mother “has no recollection” of the moment, and it’s “probably best she doesn’t.”

Through other career and personal setbacks, Johnson said depression began to take up space in his day-to-day and said he was stuck in a place during his early adult years where nothing excited him. “I was crying constantly,” he said. Following the story’s release, Johnson took to Twitter to offer words of hope and optimism to those battling depression.

“Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up,” he wrote. “Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone.” While the 45-year-old blockbuster magnet said he and his mother “both healed,” he reiterated that passing on that healing to someone else in need is necessary. “…we’ve always got to do our best to pay attention when other people are in pain.”