Portia de Rossi opened up about her struggles with bulimia and anorexia during her years as a child model in a new interview. She spoke of being told, at age 12, to diet, and recounted a traumatic experience.

Portia de Rossi

Photo: Portia de Rossi
Credit: PR Photos

The 42-year-old ‘Arrested Development’ star has been candid for years about her struggles with both anorexia and bulimia. She also revealed her story in a memoir ‘Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain,’ which she penned entirely herself, without the help of a ghost writer. In it she spoke both of her eating disorder and how it was linked with coming to grips with her identity as a lesbian.

In the new interview, which is part of the ‘It Got Better’ documentary series, she spoke of a particularly harrowing incident from her days as a child model.

As ET reported exclusively, she said, “I felt tremendous responsibility when I was 12 years old, and I was put on a catwalk. My modeling agents had told me to go on a diet. So I didn’t eat for 10 days before then.”

She went on to say, “I’m up on this catwalk, and I’m a little kid and posing and trying to be sexy and strutting around and all the other models are making fun of my bushy eyebrows.”

She then spoke of what happened immediately after having been bullied by the others. She said, “When I got in the car after that event and just opened up a bag of my favorite candy and just put my whole head in it and I think, ‘Sh-t, what have I done? I just undid two weeks worth of dieting.’…”So then I vomit.”

Reflecting upon the ordeal, Portia de Rossi said, “I erase the feelings with food, erase the food with vomiting, but you’re still left with the shame.” She added, “It makes me emotional just thinking about that day. Ugh. It’s just horrible.”

As for the ‘It Got Better’ online docuseries, as ET reports, it is inspired by the Dan Savage-founded ‘It Gets Better Project, which saw numerous celebrities and public figures — ranging from Tim Gunn to President Barack Obama — record videos in support of LGBT teens who are at risk for suicide as they come to grips with their sexual identity.

This new series of ‘It Got Better’ videos includes Rosie O’Donnell, Nate Berkus, RuPaul, Janet Mock and Andrew Rannells among others.

Watch Portia de Rossi’s interview video below on her struggle with bulimia and anorexia.