Great Britain

‘Sociopathic Noel Clarke destroyed my career & I ended up sectioned – I wish people had listened’, claims Adam Deacon

SNATCHING a BAFTA from Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston in 2012 should have marked Adulthood star Adam Deacon as the next big Hollywood entertainer.

But for the council-estate born actor, now 38, his surprise win of the Rising Star award was the start of a terrifying downward spiral that would see him sectioned for a machete attack and given a criminal record.

Earlier this month, actor and screenwriter Noel Clarke was accused of sexually harassing and bullying colleagues, something very familiar to Adam.

He first met Noel when they were both acting in Kidulthood in 2006. Noel later became Adam's mentor but in 2010, their relationship catastrophically exploded.

The pair butted heads over Adam's plan to make a film called Anuvahood, which Noel claimed was a rip-off of his works, leading to arguments and a rift between them. Adam's mental health started to suffer, culminating in a machete attack on a neighbour.

The fallout resulted in a court case in 2015, during which Adam alleged that he had been bullied by the former Doctor Who actor who he claimed was trying to destroy his career.

During a downward spiral which seemed to stop Adam's career in it's tracks, he started trolling Noel on Twitter.

Adam was then issued with a restraining order, preventing him from contacting his former friend.

Other actors come forward with claims of bullying and harassment

Now, six years later, Noel has been accused of bullying of actors, with 26 coming forward with allegations of inappropriate behaviour and sexual harassment.

Adam said he "believes every single word" of their "harrowing" stories in a social media post this week.

Noel has denied the claims about his behaviour.

Adam's post said: "I would like to start by saying that I stand by all the women who have spoken out and told of their harrowing experiences with Noel Clarke. I wholeheartedly believe every single word and I hope that anyone who is yet to come forward with information will be listened to."

Adam alleges: "I myself have been a victim of Noel Clarke for 15 years. My career was continually sabotaged and the gas lighting became so severe that it lead to the complete breakdown of my mental health.

"As you will know I have spoken out regarding this man's sociopathic behaviour on multiple occasions but my claims were always dismissed. People dealing with mental health may at times explain things differently but they should still be believed.

"I only wish that everyone had taken more notice of my words. His horrific abuse of power could have been stopped before it affected so many others.

"I am extremely thankful for all the support that I have been shown over the last few days. While recent events have served as a small vindication for me I am beyond saddened by the pain that so many people have had to endure at the hands of Noel Clarke."

Noel denies any wrongdoing.

During the court case in 2015, Adam alleged that Noel had been bullying him and sabotaging his career - but it was not believed.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun, Adam said: "I stand by everything that was said in the statement I released on my social media platforms.

"I am still dealing with Noel Clarke’s interference in my life and as recently as last summer he contacted Instagram to get my page removed. He then proceeded to goad and troll me on Twitter about what he had done.

"I am just beyond grateful to have been given a second chance and to use the platform I’ve been given to continue promoting my acting work and my involvement with mental health charities'"

'I thought I was unemployable'

Now, just under a decade later, Adam is trying to claw back his career and last year appeared in his first Hollywood film, alongside Megan Fox, 34.

Speaking to The Sun ahead of his new films Original Gangster, Red Rage and Righteous Villains, Adam said: “I honestly thought I had become unemployable after my breakdown.

“I was doing things that I would never ever do in my right mind.

“In 2012 I thought winning the BAFTA would open doors for me and give me a pass to the big films but it didn’t.

“I flew out to LA and met with all the big agents but when I got home two months later, not a single one knew who I was.

"I’d become too big for the low budget films but I wasn’t well-known enough for the Hollywood ones either. It was a surreal limbo, no one had prepared me for it and I didn’t know how to cope.”

A few months after the court case, during a manic episode, he attempted to attack a neighbour with a machete and was sectioned by police.

The stint in an NHS mental hospital is one of the best things to happen to him, according to Deacon, who is still having private counselling.

From council estate to centre stage

Megan Fox is the latest famous face he has worked with, previously having roles alongside Sacha Baron Cohen, 49, and Kaya Scodelario, 29, as well as working with director Danny Boyle, 64.

Adam, who will also be appearing in BBC1's Doctors next Wednesday, says he learnt a lot from the established actors and said Danny went out of his way to give him advice on how to succeed when they filmed Babylon together.

The world of acting is a stark contrast to his childhood growing up on a council estate in Hackney, East London.

Shortly after he was born his father disappeared and Adam says that growing up on a council estate left him surrounded by gangs and violence.

He focused on his acting in a bid to make a better life.

Despite leaving his family home at 15, Adam managed to ground himself thanks to Anna Scher’s theatre - which also boasts fellow BAFTA rising star winner Daniel Kaluuya, 32, as an alumnus.

He said: “I was living in a hostel and I could have been led down a really dark path, but because I went to Anna’s I was given a glimmer of hope. I was really lucky.

“I made some amazing friends and we all kept each other on the right path. I’m still friends with them to this day and we only wanted to see each other do the right thing and have success.”

It was through the theatre school that he landed roles in The Bill and other TV dramas before heading onto film.

But he has yet to accomplish one of his dreams: a part on BBC1’s EastEnders.

Adam thinks he struggled so much with Hollywood because he’d never experienced backstabbing in acting before.

Adam said: "When I got into the industry and I realised there is backstabbing, it really shocked me and I'll be honest, I would say it kind of led to me kind of having that breakdown.”

I hope kids learn from my mistakes

The actor isn’t keen to brand himself a role model like fellow actors Idris Elba, 48, and Daniel Kaluuya, but he hopes kids will learn from his mistakes.

But more importantly, he wants kids from non-privileged backgrounds to be given help and training to cope with stardom.

Adam said: “Their mental health needs to be taken care of. They need to be given help to know what to tweet, what not to, what to expect in that world. There needs to be more care for kids from my background because no one was there for me.

“As soon as I had my breakdown doors were slammed in my face. When I won the BAFTA everyone was there but when I needed help no one was.”

Adam has nothing but praise for the NHS for the help they provided him with.

He said: People forget how phenomenal our health service is.

“I was really sick and it doesn’t matter how you get the help, what’s important is getting it.

"When I was arrested and sectioned it was for things I’d never normally do, I had no control over my actions and I was horrified when I saw what I’d done.

“I couldn’t believe my actions and then it all became public but luckily I was found to be sick in court and found not guilty.”

As his career starts to pick up again, Adam plans to get some voice training to learn different accents and have more dialogue training but he’s hopeful Hollywood are finally ready for a London gangster.

Adam said: “I’m ready to take back my career and go to the next stage. I know I’ve got to put the work in and I will.

“I can’t change my history but I can learn from it, that’s all we can all do.

“Hopefully I can crack Hollywood this time, but I know I can only do that if I keep talking about mental health and take steps to take care of my own.

“Seeing Daniel make it has given me hope for the future, especially as he is someone who really deserves all his success.”

Adam Deacon stars in Righteous Villains, a modern day tale of good vs evil, secret societies, sorcery and Satan

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