In his newly released memoir, “Greenlights,” 50-year-old actor Matthew McConaughey reflects on his life and his career — and reveals some past trauma.
At the beginning of the memoir, McConaughey briefly mentions two instances where he was the victim of sexual abuse. He writes, “I was blackmailed into having sex for the first time when I was 15. I was certain I was going to hell for the premarital sex. Today, I am merely certain that I hope that’s not the case.”
He also states that he was “molested by a man when [he] was 18 while knocked unconscious in the back of a van.”
But McConaughey added, “I’ve never felt like a victim. I have a lot of proof that the world is conspiring to make me happy.”
“I’ve never felt like a victim. I have a lot of proof that the world is conspiring to make me happy.”
McConaughey’s memoir is based on his diaries, and the title comes from his idea that moments and experiences in his life were either green, yellow, or red light events that caused him to move forward, pause, or stop.
“I’ve been keeping a diary for 36 years,” McConaughey said. “A couple of years ago, my wife gave me a kick in the backside to say: ‘You’ve been talking about sitting down with those for 36 years and seeing what it is for a while. Now’s the time. Get out of here’.”
So McConaughey went away to the desert by himself for 52 days — without electricity — to reflect and to write.
"I noticed many red lights and yellow lights that I had in my life earlier, that with time turned green," he explained. "With time I saw, even hard, tragic things — I noticed they are things that can work for everyone. The death of a loved one, it's a red light — for me, my father moving on was a big red light — but then I've noticed when I looked in my journals how much … things he taught me kept him alive by what I learned from him and the man I try to be daily. That's a green light of his moving on."
Greenlights is out now and is available from Amazon.
Matthew McConaughey has been married to Camila Alves for 8 years, and they have three children: Livingston, 7, Vida, 10, and Levi, 12.