Music

Jimmie Allen Says He Contemplated Suicide After 2023 Sexual Assault Suit: ‘I Realized That’s Not the Way to Do It’

Editor’s note: The following story includes discussions of suicide.

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Jimmie Allen describes loading bullets into his gun in a hotel room as he contemplated suicide in the wake of a May 2023 lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault. If not for a timely text from a friend, the “Down Home” singer told Kathie Lee Gifford in an interview, he might not be here to talk about it.

“I don’t feel that way now, but in that moment, when you feel like you have nothing… In the midst of a society where it’s no longer innocent until proven guilty… She said this so it must be true,” Allen, 38, told the former morning talk show host in the hour-long chat. Allen’s former manager dropped her suit against him last month, but the singer told Gifford that the turmoil that resulted from the initial filing accusing him of rape made him consider suicide at a time when it felt like his “whole world had just collapsed.”

“The first thing my brain goes to is not the career. It’s, how am I going to provide for my kids? I had three [kids] then,” Allen said to Gifford, a longtime friend who has supported him from the earliest days of his career. In the wake of the suit Allen — who denied allegations of wrongdoing with the unnamed woman with whom he admitted to having a sexual relationship — was dropped by his label, BBR Music Group, as well as by his booking agency, management and PR firm and removed from a 2023 CMA Fest performance slot and a commencement keynote speaking engagement at Delaware State University. “I’m thinking to myself, how am I going to provide for my family? And then it hit me. My life insurance covered suicide.”

Last month, the former manager agreed to dismiss her lawsuit, with Allen then agreeing to dismiss his counter-suit accusing the woman of defamation.

Allen told Gifford he was feeling “pissed off, confused and heartbroken” after the initial filing from the woman he considered a friend, and whom he said became emotionally attached to him during what he described as the year-long affair he considered to be more physical in nature that unfolded as he was preparing to get married. “No matter how I felt about anything I made a commitment to her [estranged wife Alexis Gale],” Allen said. “For the longest time in my head I remember thinking, ‘well, as long as I’m providing for my wife and for my children I have the freedom to do whatever I want,’” said Allen, a father of six. “That’s wrong, I made a commitment and I should have either stuck with it or ended it.”

He also admitted “I knew I was not ready to be a husband” when he got married. “I was at this point in my life where it felt like I should do that,” he added of his marriage to Gale; Allen recently confirmed that he had twins with an unnamed woman in the midst of his divorce from Gale. “I wasn’t in a place for faithfulness either,” he said.

He also described being in that hotel room on May 11 — the day before his planned commencement speech — feeling “the whole world collapsed” and placing the final bullet in his gun when a text from his friend Chuck Adams came through even though he had text alerts turned off. “He said, ‘Ending it isn’t the answer.’ And when I read those words that he texted me, I read them again. I just stopped,” Allen said, sobbing and dabbing at tears with a handkerchief. “I remember I called one of my buddies that lived in lower Delaware. He came up. I gave him my gun. I said, ‘Take it. I don’t need it.’”

“Every single day I remember battling, ‘Do I want to live? Do I not want to live?’ I’m like, ‘Man, my family would have X amount of dollars if I would’ve [taken] care of something,” Allen recalled thinking at the time. “But I realized that’s not the way to do it.”

Then his mother, friends, fellow musicians and A-list, Oscar-winning actors he’d never met reached out — though some “top execs” at his label he thought had love for him never rang — and he was able to get through that difficult time with the help of therapy. He also told Gifford that while on tour with one of his favorite artist, Carrie Underwood, he briefly “turned to drugs” including Percocet, sleeping pills and marijuana, to help him deal with the intense stress of the situation, noting that he is now sober.

“I am healing and growing for me and my children,” he said of son Aadyn, 9 (from a previous relationship), daughters Naomi, 4, Zara, 2 and son Cohen, 6 months, with estranged wife Alexis, and one-year-old twins Amari and Aria 2023 with a friend.

Elsewhere in the chat, Allen described his struggles in the music industry, detailing a time when an unnamed producer of an awards show asked his label to send a picture of what the singer planned to wear on the program because of what he described as his desire to buck the “costume” typically worn by mainstream country singers.

Watch Allen’s interview with Gifford below.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis call or text 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org.

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