‘Homeland’ actor David Harewood recalls being “sat on” by six police officers “for hours”

"I was fucking terrified"

Homeland star David Harewood has opened up about his experience of being sectioned when he was younger, saying he was “sat on” by several police officers.

The actor recalled the incident – which happened in 1989 when he was 23 – in a new interview, saying that he was given a large number of sedatives as he was taken to a north London hospital.

Speaking to Men’s Health, Harewood said he arrived at the hospital after passing out having not been told what was going on or what his prognosis would be, before running inside as he “started screaming at the top of my voice”.


“I don’t remember any of this, but my friends tell me that security was called. They came down, took one look at me – this big black man – and said, ‘No way’.

David Harewood
David Harewood

“They called the police and then several officers turned up with riot shields and rushed me,” he continued, saying police “sat on me for hours”.

“Doctors pumped me full of sedatives and, at one point, they asked, ‘Has he taken any drugs? Because we’ve given him enough sedatives to knock out a horse and he’s not going down’,” Harewood added.

“I was fucking terrified. The thoughts in my head were telling me that the demons had caught me, so I thought I was fighting for my life.

David Harewood at Comic-Con
David Harewood at Comic-Con (Picture: Getty/Amy Sussman)


“Physically, what was happening to me was that six policemen were sitting on me. But in my mind, the devils had caught me, so I was resisting.”

The actor then suggested that if the same thing had happened in the US, there is “no doubt” he would “be dead”.

Earlier this year, Harewood joined the likes of I May Destroy You‘s Michaela Coel, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Colin Firth in signing an open letter demanding the end of systemic racism in the film and TV industry.