Men struggle with eating disorders, too: just ask Ashley Hamilton.
Ashley, who plays the role of former military officer Jack Taggert in the current box office smash Iron Man 3, has spoken publicly for the first time about his battle with anorexia and bulimia. The son of famed actor George Hamilton, he kicked his drug and alcohol addictions and has been sober for over seven years, but admitted he only received treatment for his eating disorder within the past year.
"I used the drugs and alcohol to control the food addiction. I've been free from bulimia for years but I still struggle with food, restricting or overeating. That's been the hardest for me in sobriety," he said to People magazine. "It's almost like drug addiction is totally acceptable to talk about in Hollywood. But food addiction? Nobody wants to talk about that. It's really shameful as a man to have that."
Ashley said that he was cruely dubbed "Fatley" in high school and his weight has fluctuated anywhere from 180-250 pounds since then. But even after receiving treatment and reaching a healthy weight, he admitted that food continues to be an ongoing struggle for him.
"With food it's not black and white. It's: 'Oh, my behavior around food has been better this month,'" he said. "You can't live without food. You're surrounded by food constantly and you have to eat. There are so many people in our country suffering from this. It's an emotional problem and that's been the struggle for me through sobriety."
Ashley credits his fellow Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr. as the catalyst for landing his role in the movie, as well as being a strong supporter in his ongoing journey of battling addiction. "He said 'I can't do it for you, dude,'" explained Ashley. "I said, 'That's okay. I just need somebody to give me the opportunity to trust in me sober-wise and give me a shot of this magnitude.' I'll forever owe him for that."
Since being released last month, Iron Man 3 has gone to raise over one billion dollars at the box office.
What do you think of Ashley's admission?
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