In a first-person account that appeared Sunday in the New York Post, Krit McClean shared the details of his manic episode on a sunny morning in late June.
"I obeyed. I immediately took off my clothes," he said. "Being naked, I thought, was the most truthful way of expressing myself."
Then he climbed the red stairs behind the TKTS booth that sells discounted Broadway tickets. "I started collecting old gum, cigarette butts and coins — and ate it all. It was my way of disposing of the garbage."
McClean's public display drew the wrath of authorities, college officials and employers in the fashion industry. He lost his modeling deal, faces a Columbia University disciplinary hearing and is charged criminally after the June 30 episode, he said.
At Bellevue Hospital, where he was admitted to the psychiatric ward, his feet were shackled and one wrist was handcuffed to the bed. The other arm was in a cast, with 13 stitches on the elbow where broken bone had cut through the skin.
He said he takes medication and goes to therapy to help his genetic predisposition. Prosecutors are set to drop charges if he continues treatment and avoids trouble for six months.
McClean said he went public "to help others with mental illness who battle constant judgments and stigmas."