Wentworth Miller Comes Out as Gay in Letter Slamming Russia's LGBT Crackdown

Wentworth Miller
Wentworth Miller
 Getty

Prison Break star Wentworth Miller has come out as gay in a letter rejecting an offer to be honored at the St. Petersburg International Film Festival.

"As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes. However, as a gay man, I must decline," Miller wrote in a letter to festival director Maria Averbakh.

He goes on to cite Russia's recent crackdown on gay, lesbian and transgendered people as his reason for declining the invitation.

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"I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government," he writes. "The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly."

Russian president Vladimir Putin recently signed laws banning the promotion of gay, lesbian or bisexual lifestyles and making foreign tourists who are members of the LGBT community subject to arrest. The laws went into effect July 3, and have been criticized throughout Hollywood and the international community. They have also sparked worries that travelers to Russia's 2014 Winter Olympics could be arrested.

Miller, who is from England, starred in Fox's Prison Break from 2005 to 2009. While it had been speculated in the tabloid press that he was gay, he had not publicly spoken about his sexual orientation until the letter was published Tuesday.

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Read the complete text of his letter below, which was posted on GLAAD's website.

Dear Ms. Averbakh:

Thank you for your kind invitation. As someone who has enjoyed visiting Russia in the past and can also claim a degree of Russian ancestry, it would make me happy to say yes.

However, as a gay man, I must decline.

I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly.

Perhaps, when and if circumstances improve, I'll be free to make a different choice. Until then.

Wentworth Miller

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