Famed dog trainer Cesar Millan says he was driven to suicide when he learned he was financially ruined at about the same time that his wife filed for divorce and his beloved dog died.
Millan, 43, best-known as the star of the National Geographic Channel series “The Dog Whisperer,” is one of the most skilled experts on Earth when it comes to controlling canines.
But he couldn’t control his own life from spiraling out of control, he revealed in a new, in-depth interview that was seen Friday night on “Rock Center with Brian Williams” (10/9c on NBC).
Millan has divulged previously that he attempted suicide in 2010. But he gave an interview to NBC’s Kate Snow that seemed to be the most detailed yet about the time he felt so hopeless that he tried to kill himself with an overdose of pills.
In the interview, which was excerpted Friday morning on NBC’s “Today Show,” Millan reveals that he likely would have died, if he had not been discovered unconscious by his two teen-aged sons. He told Snow that they later told him what he said to them when they found him: “Take me to the ranch to die with Daddy.” As Millan’s fans are aware, “Daddy” was Cesar’s prized pitbull — this particular man’s best friend — and the dog’s death hit him hard.
In the interview, Cesar said he came out of a decade of TV stardom — stardom that led to all sorts of dog-related products, including best-selling books and videos — with almost no money to show for it. He explained that he never owned the rights to his own name or his “Dog Whisperer” brand. As a result, he says, he didn’t profit from it. However, Snow reported that the producers of “The Dog Whisperer” insist they paid him as much as $10 million over the course of the show. What happened to the money remains a mystery, Snow said.