Matt LeBlanc reveals depression and breakdown fears

Actor Matt LeBlanc played Joey on Friends for 10 years. Photo / Getty Images
Actor Matt LeBlanc played Joey on Friends for 10 years. Photo / Getty Images

Matt LeBlanc has been on the verge of a "nervous breakdown."

The former Friends star has admitted he spent "years and years" refusing to leave his house in a bid to avoid the public eye after he was plunged into depression following the end of the highly successful US sitcom, which ran for an incredible 10 years, in 2004.

Read more: Friends star Matt LeBlanc hired as new Top Gear presenter

He explained: "For years and years, I barely left the house. I was burnt out. I wanted to not have a schedule, not be somewhere. I was in a position to do that. My agent was bummed.

"Most actors call their agents and say, 'What's going on?' I'd call mine and say, 'Please lose my number for a few years.' It was a very dark time.

I almost had a nervous breakdown."

The 48-year-old actor believes he started to lose himself after his 12-year-old daughter Marina began to experience seizures at eight months old due to, what doctors thought was, a form of dysplasia.

He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "My daughter was diagnosed with a problem with her head. It was a very dark period. But I got through it. Don't they say what doesn't kill us makes us stronger?"

But that wasn't the only thing to knock Matt off his path as he also had to deal with the breakdown of his marriage to British model Melissa McKnight after rumours of infidelity began to circulate.

However, despite spending over a half a decade away from the limelight, this year looks set to be brighter for Matt as he's just been announced as the new co-host for the revamped Top Gear.

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youth services: (06) 3555 906 (Palmerston North and Levin)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (available 24/7)
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

- Bang! Showbiz

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