The star opens up about Bethany's abortion and Tortorella’s own drug abuse and journey as a "sexually fluid, non-binary individual"

By Sam Gillette
September 17, 2019 11:08 AM
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Nico Tortorella and Bethany Meyers
Credit: Ben Gabbe/Getty

Nico Tortorella’s new book is both a candid memoir and powerful love story.

In Space Between: Explorations of Love, Sex, and Fluidity, which published Tuesday, the Younger star (whose pronouns of choice are “they” and “them”) details their drug and alcohol abuse, their journey to identify as a “queer, non-binary, bisexual,” and their on-and-off relationship with spouse Bethany Meyers (who also prefers non-binary pronouns).

In a painful flashback, Tortorella recalls comforting Meyers after an abortion — an experience that was “all too familiar” because Tortorella had previously supported a partner who decided to abort their baby.

“Baby, I’m pregnant,” Meyers told Tortorella during a surprise “SOS” call. The pair, who weren’t together at the time, hadn’t spoken in more than a year, according to the book. (Tortorella and Meyers, a fitness and lifestyle entrepreneur, have been in a polyamorous relationship for more than a decade. In March 2018, they married in a courthouse ceremony.)

“Everything that happened next is sort of a blur,” writes Tortorella, who quickly booked a flight to Dallas to see Meyers. “The baby wasn’t mine, obviously, but it didn’t matter. After deep consideration, Bethany knew they couldn’t keep the baby. I went to the doctor’s office with them the day I landed.”

Nico Tortorella and Bethany Meyers
The actor
| Credit: Matt Martin
Nico Tortorella and Bethany Meyers

Tortorella continues: “I had dealt with a partner’s abortion firsthand a number of years before and was all too familiar with the process. It’s a painful one, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.”

Meyers decided on “an at-home medical abortion,” Tortorella explains. The star was in Meyers’ apartment “as the medicine took effect” and prayed and lit candles “to honor the life lost” and “to honor the life gained.”

Though the decision to have an abortion was a very difficult one, Meyers doesn’t regret it, Tortorella writes. Tortorella’s support in such a painful moment was also a “turning point” for the pair.

“It had been years since we were this intimate,” the author writes. “It solidified our forever quality—that no matter what had happened in our separate individual lives, no matter what had transpired in the time lost, no matter how much we did or didn’t talk, we showed up. We honored. We celebrated. We were family, forever.”

Meyers’ abortion is one of many visceral moments in the book. The narrative explores Tortorella’s family history, drug-fueled benders, and many metamorphoses as they explored their sexuality and gender. Tortorella hopes that by using their platform as an actor (they are currently filming a spin-off of The Walking Dead) and sharing their story, they can help readers “re-evaluate their own programming,” the star tells PEOPLE.

Nico Tortorella and Bethany Meyers
The couple
| Credit: Shane Lavancher

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“That line [in my book], ‘I wasn’t born in the wrong body, I was born into the wrong world,’ that’s really it for me,” Tortorella says. “Moving forward, I’m like, ‘Okay, it’s the wrong world right now. What can we do while we’re here to make it a little bit better?'”

Beyond propelling Tortorella’s activism in the LGBTQ community, Space Between is also a deep dive into Tortorella and Meyers’ romance. Meyers is a central character in the book who alters the course of Tortorella’s life from the preface to the very last chapter. (Meyers helped Tortorella in their fight for sobriety and guided Tortorella as the star discovered their sexual and gender identity.)

“Bethany didn’t read anything until it was finished. It was a very emotional experience for both of us. In so many ways, it’s our love story,” explains Tortorella, who hopes Meyers will write their own book one day. “We’ve gone through [so much] in a short amount of time.”

Nico Tortorella and Bethany Meyers
Meyers and Tortorella
| Credit: Shane Lavancher

While writing the book, Tortorella was excited to realize “just how much we’ve grown and how much farther there is to go,” the actor says. Specifically, Tortorella looks forward to dating new people.

“Navigating this non-monogamous relationship has proven to be very interesting. Difficult at times,” Tortorella explains. “I am excited to continue to grow as individuals, while also as a couple. I’m excited to date new people, to bring them into the relationship.”

Children are also in the couple’s future.

“I’m excited for when we do have kids and for the conversations in the world of social justice to start changing,” Tortorella says. “[I’m excited] for us to be able to have the perspective that we have, to be able to give our advice and learn from our children and our children’s children. I’m excited to watch the world change next to Bethany.”

Space Between is on sale now.