Herndon will discuss his sexuality with Entertainment Tonight on Thursday (Nov. 20). The news was leaked earlier in the day although Herndon spoke with People magazine on Tuesday about his announcement.
“During an Anthony Robbins seminar, I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone’s son or daughter or grandchild’s life not be as difficult as mine has been,” Herndon told People. “Maybe they wouldn’t have to go through as much pain and suffering. It’s time to tell my truth.”
Herndon, who has been married twice, is involved with a long-term partner named Matt. He said he came out to close family members at the age of 20, but was aware of his orientation before that.
“I was 10, sitting in church and horrified that I might be a homosexual. Whatever that word meant, I knew that I probably was one,” Herndon told People. “And I know there’s a lot of those kids still out there. Telling my story is an opportunity to help just one of them.”
Herndon earned immediate success in 1995 with “What Mattered Most,” but that summer he was arrested for drug possession and allegedly exposing himself to a police officer in a Texas public park. The indecent exposure charge was dropped, but Herndon was sentenced to rehab and community service for the drug charge.
Despite those charges, his career momentum continued through the rest of the decade. His additional Top 10 hits include “I Want My Goodbye Back,” “Loved Too Much,” “A Man Holdin’ On (To a Woman Lettin’ Go)” and “Hands of a Working Man.”