Jonathan Lipnicki was a sensation as a kid starring opposite Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger 21 years ago in the Oscar-nominated film Jerry Maguire.
He followed that up with a plum role in the hit movie Stuart Little and its sequel and was a regular on The Jeff Foxworthy Show.
But life off the screen was not as charmed for the child actor who recently took to social media to reveal how he was intensely bullied while in school.
It led to a years-long struggle with anxiety and depression that required therapy.
‘I didn’t go a day without going home and being upset,’ he tells toofab. ‘I didn’t go a day without being called some form of gay slur, or a hateful slur pretty much every day of middle school.
‘I had my own group of friends and people knew me, but it was a wide spectrum. It was kids who thought it was cool, but then you had kids who were really mean. It was something I definitely had to overcome. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t affect me a little bit to this day to a point where I do have a little bit of a chip on my shoulder where I want to prove the world wrong.’
Now 26 and muscular, Lipnicki continues to act.
On the Instagram post in which he revealed his struggles, Lipnicki proudly pointed out that he has now made more movies as an adult than he did as a child.
‘Chase your dreams,’ he wrote. ‘It’s amazing how many mean people peak in their teens.
‘Thank you to everyone who has supported and continues to support me. I love you and I hope that sharing this can shed a little light in a positive way.’
Im sharing a little of my experience. It gives me anxiety being this open, but being bullied is a universal problem. I am not a victim, but rather empowered because I was able to turn to my art. I am grateful for the amazing life I have and I hope I can pass on that it DOES get better. As much as it is easier said than done, overcoming being bullied is a reality and I hope this resonates with all of you ❤️❤️❤️❤️