Pornstar-turned-pastor recounts pivotal moment that saved him from suicide: 'Jesus saved my life'

Joshua Broome
Joshua Broome | Jacob Jolly

Joshua Broome vividly remembers the day he decided to take his own life. 

It was 2013, and the North Carolina native was at the height of his porn career; he’d appeared in over 1,000 adult films and had earned accolades and awards for his work — including the coveted “Performer of the Year” award — and was making more money than he’d ever dreamed possible. 

But internally, Broome was a self-described “mess,” largely stemming from growing up in a fatherless home: “I did all the things that I thought would satisfy my soul, yet when I obtained them, and they didn't work, it actually amplified my anxiety and deepened my depression,” he recalled. 

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So, on that day in 2013, Broome walked into a bank, intent on cashing what he believed would be his final paycheck. 

“I was going to deposit this last check," he said. "I typically would do the ATM because there was always a memo on the check that says what it's for, and I was embarrassed. But this time, I wrote something antagonistic and perverse in the ‘memo’ space, and I thought when the bank teller saw that, she would verify the thing that I thought about myself, so that would justify me carrying out harming myself to a point where I was no longer alive. I walked in the bank and I slid the checker across the counter, and I'm trembling, shaking, sweating.”

But instead of responding with judgment, the bank teller looked at Broome and simply said, "Joshua, are you OK?" Those words, he said, instantly pierced through his facade and reminded him of his true identity.

“In the porn industry, you don't go by your real name,” Broome said. “I’d isolated myself from family and anyone who truly knew me to the extent that I hadn't even heard my name in over a year. So when I heard my name, it essentially shattered the plausible reality that I'd created based on guilt and shame.”

In that pivotal moment, Broome decided to leave the adult film industry behind for good and reconnect with his mother, who had never stopped loving him.

"My life changed forever," he said.

His journey from that moment was neither easy nor straightforward. Leaving the industry behind, he struggled with his identity and purpose, wrestling with shame and the fear of judgment. He eventually moved from Los Angeles to be near his mother and began working as a personal trainer. 

“I was enjoying freedom, but at the same time wrestling with this other identity that I have,” he said. “I deleted my social media, I shaved my head, covered up my tattoos, did everything I could to hide, but the thing that I hated most about myself was one Google search way.”

Yet, through these trials, Broome said he felt the Holy Spirit working on his heart — and he found solace in communication and upliftment, eventually meeting a Christian woman named Hope, who is now his wife. Her acceptance and faith challenged Broome to reconsider his understanding of intimacy, identity and redemption, ultimately freeing him from shame.

Now happily married with three children, Broome said his calling is clear: “God has equipped me and elevated my voice and my influence so that I can share with people there is an answer to whatever you're struggling with,” he said. 

“There were so many people that I worked with in the industry that had HIV and died,” he reflected. “Somehow, I did not get HIV, and I should have. There were situations I was in where people overdosed and died. I was not harmed. There were so many times I should’ve been dead, but I'm not. I realized that God not only was with me in that moment, He's always been with me. Why? Because I have a father.”

Today, Broome travels the world sharing his message of hope with millions. He's the host of the "Counterfeit Culture" podcast and is the author of the new book, The 7 Lies That Will Ruin Your Life: What My Journey from Porn Star to Preacher Taught Me About the Truth That Sets Us Free.

In it, the 41-year-old candidly discusses his personal experiences and pairs them with biblical truths to demonstrate the devastating nature of deception and the healing truth that only comes through a relationship with Jesus.

Joshua Broome
Joshua Broome | Amazon

One of the “lies” Broome tackles is the idea of “imitation intimacy,” something he describes as superficial connections that often masquerade as real relationships. The author revealed he recently conducted a poll asking 10,000 individuals aged 18 to 30 about their first association with the word "intimacy," and 91% responded with "sex."

“The truth is, intimacy is not exclusively tied to sex," he said. "Intimacy is actually defined by proximity to God. We are wired to want to be close to God, and when we try to mitigate that gap with counterfeits, they lead us into this cyclical sin cycle. They make us feel good for a moment; we feel shame and regret, and then we struggle with loneliness and go through it over and over again. That’s what the enemy wants; he wants to steal, kill and destroy. And especially for the believer, if I can't steal your salvation, I can steal the security that you have in your relationship with Jesus.

“if you believe you can find satisfaction in something that is external, you will never fix the internal problem, because our greatest problem is sin and the only solution is Jesus.”

Broome's book delves into the destructive nature of pornography, not just on a personal level but within the wider context of society and marriage. The Church, he said, needs to be bold in addressing the pornography “epidemic,” lamenting the lack of discussions about sex within a biblical context among families and churches. 

He emphasized the importance of addressing sexual matters, no matter how awkward, openly and according to biblical principles. Broome referenced Romans 12:2 to highlight the necessity of renewing one's mind through God's Word and distinguishing between what is beneficial and harmful according to God's will.

“The Bible says to submit yourself to God and then resist the devil and he will flee from you,” he said. “We like to forget that first part. But we have to submit ourselves to God because, in your own strength, you can't do anything.”

He urged parents to overcome their fears and engage in honest dialogues about sex, highlighting that it is a beautiful aspect of life intended by God to occur within the confines of marriage. 

“At the end of the day, you're making that about you," he said. "Because you have fear, you're not communicating something as important as this. To love someone well is to share with them the truth. The truth is, sex is a beautiful thing that is designed to happen in marriage between one husband and wife for one lifetime. And because of sin, there are plenty of examples of that not being true, but that was God's intention.”

Broome said that over the years, he’s heard from hundreds of people who've shared how his story of redemption has given them hope despite their troubled pasts. He advised those struggling to immerse themselves in Scripture and find a supportive Christian community to truly find hope and healing.

“Jesus saved my life, but the Bible transformed my life, and the way that I learned the Bible was reading it and studying, but something had to love me enough to walk through that process with me,” he said. “I would say, whatever you're struggling with, look at the world, it's a mess, but you're not alone. Whatever you're struggling with, there's someone who either went through what you have or knows someone who has. Don't confine yourself because we're so prone to be isolated when we feel shame, and that is antithetical to the solution.” 

“There's a God that already knows our worst mistakes and loves us despite them,” he said. “He desperately wants you to come to the face of the Father, because that's where healing, restoration and joy are found, and that is what I want for everyone.”

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at:

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