"Whose Line Is It Anyway?" star Tony Slattery has implied that he was abused by a priest when he was just eight years old.
The 59-year-old comedian was a regular on the Channel 4 improvisation show throughout the 90s but his career and personal life imploded in 1996 at the age of 36 when he had a breakdown which was caused by overworking and alcohol and cocaine abuse.
Tony has got better due to several voluntary stints in hospital and learning how to cope with being bipolar after being diagnosed with the mental health condition later in his life.
The comic now believes that a "contributing factor" to his personal problems is an incident that happened with a priest when he was a child that he kept secret for decades and continued to bury on the advice of a psychiatrist.
In a moving interview with The Guardian newspaper in which he spoke about the incident publicly for the first time, he said: "I have a feeling that what might have been a contributing factor is something that happened when I was very young ... Not to do with family. A priest. When I was about eight.
"A psychiatrist once said to me, "Bear in mind that some things are so deeply buried there is nothing to be gained by an archaeological dig. Keep it buried." "
When asked if that advice "worked for him", he added: "I think so, because it would have been another bloody thing to deal with, along with the booze, the bipolarity, the overwork, the feeling of being let down by friends, my own bad behaviour. I think that's enough of a cocktail to be getting on with. Some things are so horrible they serve no purpose to be relived."
Tony is also certain that his mental illness played a big part in his drink and drug abuse in the 90s as "bipolarity often presents itself as something else, like a rash can present as lupus or Lyme disease".
"The Crying Game" star will forever be grateful for the support of his long-term partner, actor Mark Michael Hutchinson, throughout that dark period of his life and he is amazed that he stood by him no matter what.
Tony - who met Mark when they appeared together in "Me and My Girl" in the mid-80s - said: "He's kept with me when my behaviour has been so unreasonable and I can only think it's unconditional love. He's certainly not with me for my money - we don't have any money. It's the mystery of love. It makes me very emotional."