Rebecca Gayheart spent a year 'trying to kill' herself after being involved in an accident that left a child dead

Rebecca Gayheart. (Photo: Getty Images)
Rebecca Gayheart. (Photo: Getty Images)

Cape Town – Rebecca Gayheart has opened up about a moment that changed her life forever, 18 years ago.

The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actress spoke about a harrowing 2001 car accident during a podcast interview on The Only One in the Room, hosted by Laura Cathcart Robbins.

"A 9-year-old child died and everything changed from that," Rebecca recalled, before explaining that the accident was caused when she avoiding hitting a car that braked in front of her by driving around it.

"If a car in front of you hits their brakes and they stop, you don't go around them to avoid hitting them. You hit them because there's a reason they're stopping. I couldn't see that reason, but that is something that everyone should know."

The 47-year-old suffered from PTSD after the accident and continued to have nightmares about the incident.

Speaking about how she felt, Rebecca said: "I just didn't want to live after that accident...I couldn't handle it at all, so I spent about a year just trying to kill myself basically by doing every self-destructive thing a person can do because I just didn't understand…any of it."

Reflecting on her past, Rebecca admitted that although she has come to terms with it, she still replays the night over and over in her head, trying to think about how she could've done things differently.

"I still have those questions, but today I am able to ponder those questions and still realise that I deserve to be happy and that I am meant to be on this planet and that I have a purpose and I'm making living amends for that even though it was an accident."


Rebecca was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and appeared in court months after the accident and plead no contest to a misdemeanour vehicular manslaughter charge, E! News reports.

She was sentenced to was sentenced to three years' probation, a one-year suspension of her license, a $2 800 fine and 750 hours of community service.

This prompted the Beverly Hills, 90210 to start working with Chrysalis – a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping homeless and low-income individuals by providing resources and support to gain employment.