Chrissy Metz has gained worldwide fame since starring in the hit NBC drama This Is Us. Appearing alongside actors Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, and Justin Hartley, Metz plays Kate Pearson, a 30-something struggling with her body image. Since the series’ debut in 2016, the character has been a fan-favorite that many viewers have found incredibly relatable. “You don’t realize that somebody who’s average or even very fit could relate to someone who’s overweight,” Metz told People in February 2017, “but it’s not about our size — it’s how we look at ourselves and how we feel about ourselves.”
Despite Metz’s on-screen success, we’d wager that most TV fans don’t know about the details of the actress’ tragic real-life story. From family troubles and heartbreaking issues related to her weight to a failed marriage and financial strain, Metz has gone through a lot over the years. She’s overcome a childhood littered with insecurities to emerge into the self-assured woman she is today, but it hasn’t been easy for the former American Horror Story star.
Keep reading to learn all about the toughest moments of Metz’s personal life. Be warned though — like This Is Us, Metz’s story is a tearjerker.
Her father reportedly skipped out
When Chrissy Metz was just a child, her father, Mark, reportedly left her and her mother. The abandonment undoubtedly left a mark on the actress, who was just 8 years old at the time, reported the Daily Mail).
Speaking with People magazine in January 2018, Metz revealed that her relationship with her father factors heavily in the content of her memoir, This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today. “There is a chapter about our lack of relationship and trying to establish one,” the actress said. “But [I realized] that you can only hope that people will want to have a relationship with you. If they do, they do, and if they don’t, that’s okay, too.”
Mentioning that she once read that her father claimed that she had abandoned him, Metz asked, “How does a child abandon their parent?” Still, the actress said she has “a lot of love for him,” and it’s obvious that she wishes they could grow closer. “But at the end of the day there’s only so much you can do. A relationship is a two-way street.”
Her stepfather allegedly criticized her weight
After Metz’s parents split, the actress’ mother eventually remarried, tying the knot with Crayton Hodge, a man Metz called “Trigger.” While Trigger was reportedly loving to his own biological children, he kept Metz at a distance, allegedly criticizing her weight at every turn.
“My body seemed to offend him, but he couldn’t help but stare, especially when I was eating,” Metz recalled in an excerpt from her memoir (via People). Remembering how her stepfather had “joked about putting a lock on the refrigerator,” Metz — who, like other stars, grew up poor — attributed her eating habits to her family’s previous lack of food. She explained, “We had lived with a lack of food for so long that when it was there, I felt like I had to eat it before it disappeared.”
Metz shared that she’d eat to gain “the brief bliss of numbness,” noting, “Food was my only happiness.” Unfortunately, Trigger’s alleged behavior toward his stepdaughter went a lot further than nasty comments and hurtful jokes…
Her first kiss ignored her in public
As if it wasn’t enough to face hate from a family member, Chrissy Metz also encountered bullying from her peers, who would make fun of her for her weight. She remembered how boys would flirt with her but would “never want to be in a relationship or date [her] because [she] was the chubby girl” (via People).
Metz suffered even more heartbreak when her friend’s brother, Derek, the boy with whom she’d shared her first kiss, allegedly started ignoring her in public — all because of her weight. Though the pair had shared “one of the most amazing kisses,” Derek was apparently hesitant to show Metz any affection when they were among other kids their age. “The next time we were all at [her friend’s house], I waited for him to acknowledge me in a real way, not just through his secret signals,” Metz wrote in her book. “When he didn’t, I decided this was what I needed to settle for — a wink here and there. He couldn’t let anyone know he liked the fat girl. Got it.”
Her first marriage fell apart
Before she gained celebrity status on This Is Us, Metz was married … and divorced. She tied the knot with British screenwriter Martyn Eaden, whom her mother had called “her first real love,” reported Radar Online. Metz and Eaden said their “I do’s” in a small ceremony in Santa Barbara, Calif., but their wedded bliss wouldn’t last long. After five years of marriage, the couple called it quits in 2013.
Their relationship didn’t end well. Eaden filed for divorce from Metz in November 2014, citing “irreconcilable differences,” but Metz reportedly didn’t respond to the court filing. Instead, the actress is said to have ignored the filing altogether, so in an effort to once again become a single man, Eaden reportedly had to ask the court to declare that his divorce was uncontested — a request which was eventually granted. In December 2015, the couple’s split became official.
She lost a close friend
While Metz has been seen coping with the loss of her TV father, played by actor Milo Ventimiglia, on the small screen, the actress has also had to deal with the passing of a loved one in real life. During an appearance on E!’s Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry, Metz revealed that the life of one of her friends had been cut short. While she couldn’t go into the details about the incident — at the time of the show’s airing, there was an active investigation into her friend’s passing — she shared that she hoped that there would be justice for her late friend.
According to celebrity medium Tyler Henry, Metz will find closure after the loss of her friend. “It’s easy when a case is open to think of a person and to focus all on how they died and what happened and the circumstances,” he told her. “But when he came through, there was this feeling of understanding that he was so much more than that. And I think justice will be served. I think there will be closure to this.”
Hopefully, Metz will be able to find comfort after such a tragic loss.