Kristy McNichol Comes Out of the Closet to Fight Bullying

Actress ends two-decade silence to help LGBT kids

Kristy McNichol, former star of the 90s sitcom "Empty Nest," has been out of the public eye for nearly two decades. But she is so fed up with child bullying, she re-entered the spotlight to make a statement about her own sexuality and help those in need.

Nearing her 50th birthday, McNichol, who has lived with her partner Martie Allen for the past two decades, told <a href="http://">People magazine it was time “to be open” about her sexuality.

“She hopes that coming out can help kids who need support,” her publicist, Jeff Ballard, told People. “She would like to help others who feel different."

A two-time Emmy winner for her role on the drama “Family,” she also appeared on the hit-sitcom “Empty Nest” alongside television veteran Richard Mulligan. She also starred in “Little Darlings” in 1980 with Tatum O’Neal and in Sam Fuller’s cult-hit “White Dog” in 1982.

In 1992, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and stopped actively acting. Since 1995, her only acting credits have been voice work on the 1997 “Extreme Ghostbusters” cartoon and on the short-lived television series, “Invasion America” in 1998.

It's not the first time McNichol has graced People magazine. Her personal battles in the 70s, from drugs to depression, were widely chronicled in the tabloids.

Suggested Reading: People, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Daily News

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