MMA star Angela Lee reveals car accident in 2017 ‘was a suicide attempt’

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ONE mixed martial arts star Angela Lee recently confirmed in an essay that the car accident she was involved nearly six years ago was a suicide attempt.

Revealing the details: Lee, 27, revealed the information in an essay titled "Resilient" published in The Players’ Tribune on Tuesday. After introducing herself, she writes, “Six years ago, I tried to end my life. My car crash in November 2017 was not an accident. It was a suicide attempt.”

She also revealed the story in a video uploaded by ONE Championship to YouTube that same day.

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The context: The ONE Championship MMA fighter shared that it all came to a head in November 2017, months after becoming the world’s youngest MMA champion at 19 years old and less than a month after becoming engaged to her husband, Bruno Pucci.

Lee said “things started to snowball” for her as she was preparing for her last title defense that year, saying, “I had tunnel vision and thought that this upcoming fight was the most important thing in my life.”

Lee recalled how she told herself at the time, “If you don’t get this done, you’ll lose everything,” a mentality that she described as a double-edged sword.

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How it happened: Lee shared that she felt herself "slipping" after finding out that she still had to lose 12 pounds of her weight to become eligible for her upcoming fight that year and that her weight was not dropping with only two weeks left for the preparation.

Dark thoughts: Lee said that thoughts started to run in her mind at the time, even sharing how she told herself, “I have to take myself out of this fight.” She recalled trying to break her arm or giving herself a concussion.

When those things didn’t work, I decided to get in my car and leave it up to fate to see what happens next,” she said. Her thought at the time was, “This is it. I don’t care what happens next.”

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The accident: Lee got in her car on the morning of Nov. 6, 2017, and attempted twice to drive herself to a highway guardrail on O’ahu in Hawaii. She recalled that on her second attempt, she suddenly turned her steering wheel, resulting in her swerving on the highway and hitting something that caused her car to start rolling.

In an Instagram post days after the accident, Lee said that she dozed off while driving. In her essay, the MMA star noted that the only person she told the truth about what happened was Pucci.

Other details: Lee also shared in the essay that she started a nonprofit organization in March called Fightstory, which aims to build “a community for those struggling with mental health.” The organization is inspired by her late sister, Victoria, who passed away at the age of 18 in December 2022. Lee confirmed that her sister, a rising MMA star herself, died by suicide.


If you or people you know are at risk of self-harm, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24-hour support at 1-800-273-8255.