*Even stars have had dark pages of their past, and sometimes they feel brave enough to share them publicly.
You probably recognize Pete Davidson as one of the youngest funny faces to ever grace the Saturday Night Live set. Now 24, Davidson joined SNL’s 40th season in 2014 at the age of 20. You may also recognize him as the new fiancé of pop singer and former Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande. Davidson is a funny, successful guy, but he hasn’t been afraid to share his struggles with illnesses like Crohn’s disease, depression, and borderline personality disorder.
Most recently, he opened up to Variety Magazine about an instance when he tried to drown himself as a young child.
Yes, you read that right. Small children drown fairly often, in fact, drowning is the second leading cause of death for kids under age five. But those drownings are typically tragic accidents. Nine-year-old Pete attempted to drown himself in his own family’s pool by wedging his head in the rungs of the pool ladder and drowning himself.
Obviously, little Pete didn’t succeed. But the story and the candidness that Davidson told it with touched the hearts of his fans and those familiar with the toll of mental illness.
So why did little Pete try to hurt himself? Davidson traced his struggles back to the death of his father.
Did Pete Davidson’s Dad Die on 9/11?
His father, Scott Matthew Davidson, was a New York City firefighter who passed away while serving during the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. Like many New Yorkers and victims of the 9/11 attacks, Davidson was profoundly mentally affected by the loss. Current research suggests that future mental illnesses (such as Davidson’s borderline personality disorder) could have been affected by trauma sustained that day.
New Yorkers surely empathized with the despair that Davidson felt after the loss of his father, but Davidson also emphasizes that he wouldn’t be the comedian and man he is today without that experience. Says Davidson: “To learn how anything can just be taken away from you early gave me this sense of ‘F*** it. Whatever, dude.’ I’m able to do stand-up and f*** around because hopefully the worst thing that has ever happened to me happened.”