Jake Paul Struggled With Suicidal Ideation After His Brother Logan’s Viral ‘Suicide Forest’ Video Controversy
The YouTuber-turned-boxer recently sat down for an interview with host Graham Bensinger at his home in Puerto Rico, where he opened up about the toll Logan's scandal took on his own career and mental health.
Content warning below // suicide
Jake spoke candidly about being blacklisted and canceled after his brother's video about Japan’s Aokigahara forest (a.k.a. “Suicide Forest”) went viral for all the wrong reasons in 2018. Though Jake did not appear in the video, Logan posting a video of a dead body he found in the forest didn't sit well with most. Jake claimed he even lost a $10 million brand deal due to his sibling's controversy.
"I was like, ‘What's the purpose of my life? This sucks. This is terrible. I wanna run away.’ And I think dark thoughts come into your head of like… ‘I don't wanna be here on Earth anymore,'" Jake shared.
When Bensinger questioned if Jake thought about taking his own life in the wake of the backlash, Jake responded, "Yeah, 100 percent."
At the time Logan's video went viral, YouTube demonetized Jake and he lost a major deal with Target that was just days away from going into effect.
"Every brand that I was affiliated with dropped me," Jake continued. "I wasn't even the one who filmed the video, right? It was just by way of association, because my brother filmed in the suicide forest, my life was pretty much ruined."
Jake added that he felt that everything he had worked for was gone because of his association with Logan: "We got canceled everywhere. And so I just saw everything in my life was just falling apart… You sort of wake up one day and I'm in this empty house, with everything that I had built basically stripped away from me and people hated me. I thought my own friends — who I thought I would be with and know forever — they were gone."
In January 2018, Logan Paul was met with intense international backlash after he uploaded a video featured the dead body of a man he found in Japan's Aokigahara forest. The video was quickly removed from YouTube and an apology was issued, but not before Logan lost various brand deals and partnerships, including his standing as an ad partner on YouTube.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 800-273-TALK (8255).