The news sent shockwaves through Hollywood. In late August of 2007, actor Owen Wilson was hospitalized after attempting to take his own life at his Santa Monica home.
The star had slit his wrists and paramedics reportedly found him bloodied and dazed.
“He always seemed like such a happy-go-lucky, mellow guy,'' an insider exclusively tells OK! of Wilson, best known for his hilarious turns in comedies like Wedding Crashers, Meet the Parents and Zoolander. “But he has a dark side, and he was in a lot of pain."
Thankfully, 13 years later, the events of that fateful night seem like a distant memory for the charming 52-year-old, who the insider says has begun opening up about his shocking untold story.
“He's been to hell and back and then some," says the insider. “But those days are well behind him now." After battling depression and succumbing to stress over a string of high-profile, failed romances, the insider notes that Owen is on solid ground again.
“He's a survivor. He’s been kicked around and dumped, but he always manages to get back up. One of the things Owen learned from nearly dying is that he's a lot stronger than he ever thought.”
Wilson was at the height of fame when his personal life hit rock bottom. On the outside, the handsome and fun-loving actor appeared to have it all, but he was reportedly struggling with drug addictions that only his inner circle knew about. Wilson had gotten into a heated argument with a close friend the night he tried to commit suicide.
The insider says the actor was also still reeling from his breakup with his You, Me and Dupree costar, Kate Hudson. “They had split in May and she started dating Dax Shepard just three months later. He was distraught.”
According to those close to Wilson, Hudson was the one who got away. “He thought Kate was the ideal partner, and friends say she’s the only woman he ever really loved,” explains the insider. “She broke his heart and it took him a long time to get over it.”
He became reclusive and depressed. “Things were bad,” shares the insider. “Owen is a really sensitive guy, and he falls in love quickly.”
The insider claims Wilson told pals he didn’t really want to die. “He’s embarrassed and says he never really meant to kill himself — he just wanted to dull the pain.”
Family members and friends helped him through the worst time of his life. “They saved him from himself,” says the insider of Wilson's brothers Andrew and Legally Blonde actor Luke, and his close pal Ben Stiller. “He doesn’t know where he’d be without them.”
Wilson was still healing when filming for 2008’s Marley & Me began, but he couldn’t have asked for a better costar than his onscreen wife, Jennifer Aniston, 51.
“This was the first movie Owen did after his suicide attempt, but Jen made him feel comfortable and helped make him smile again. There was no judgment from her. God knows, she went through a horrible time after Brad, so they were good for each other during those months,” says the insider.
While rumors swirled they were dating, the insider says they never crossed any lines. “They’d hug and whisper in each other’s ears during breaks, but they were just good friends.” They stayed close after the film came out and still talk all the time, adds the insider. “Jen’s there for Owen when he wants relationship advice or whenever he needs someone to talk to.”
Over the years, Wilson gained a reputation for being a ladies’ man, even earning the nickname “Butterscotch Stallion” thanks to his tousled blonde locks and appetite for hooking up with beautiful women.
In 1999, he started dating singer Sheryl Crow and then quickly moved on with Showgirls star Gina Gershon until they split in 2002.
“Rumor has it, Sheryl dumped Owen after he took up with Gina,” dishes the insider. “Owen’s an incurable flirt. He can be sweet and generous with women, but he tends to lose interest after a while.”
The insider says Wilson didn’t experience unconditional love until he became a father. He welcomed his first child, 10-year-old Robert, with his then-partner Jade Duell in 2011, and then had another son, Finn, 6, with his personal trainer ex Caroline Lindqvist.
In 2018, his former girlfriend Varunie Vongsvirates gave birth to daughter Lyla. “Becoming a dad has opened up a whole new world for Owen,” says the insider. “He never knew he could be so nurturing until he had kids. Fatherhood has made him a better person.”
It hasn’t been without drama, though. Shortly after Lyla’s birth, Vongsvirates accused Wilson of not being involved in his daughter’s life. “When Varunie claimed Owen had abandoned Lyla and wasn’t supporting her, he was hurt,” the insider reveals. “He and Varunie had a volatile relationship, and he felt she was using the child to get back at him.”
The insider says the couple had been on the outs when Vongsvirates told him she was pregnant. “But a paternity test revealed the child was his, and he’s tried to be a good parent ever since and supports Lyla financially. His relationship with Varunie can still be rocky at times, though.”
His career remained on track during his trials and tribulations. But he’s on the verge of a hot streak with three highly anticipated projects due out this year, including the buzzy sci-fi flick Bliss, Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and the romantic comedy Marry Me with Jennifer Lopez.
“The roles are still coming in,” dishes the insider, “and he’ll continue to make movies until they stop.” It’s been a rough road, but the insider says Wilson's in a good place. “He’s battled a lot of demons, but fortunately, he’s got a strong support system to help him when he feels down. He’s extremely close with his siblings and they watch out for him and are constantly checking in. No one wants to see him break down again.”
He even may be ready for love again soon. “Owen would like another chance at romance — one that would go the distance — and he’s hopeful the right woman will come along,” says the insider. “But until she does, he’s totally content being a single dad.”