He’s coming clean. Laguna Beach alum and former Hills heartthrob Jason Wahler opened up about his battle with alcoholism in a new interview, and explained how addiction caused him to attempt suicide.
“I was supposed to go to school and college for baseball, down that path, and the phenomenon of the show came up,” Wahler, 29, told Entertainment Tonight host Ashley Crossan on Thursday, May 26, referring to his unexpectedly successful stint on reality TV in the early 2000s.
“Everything transitioned. … There was a lot of pros to this — there was a lot of things that came overnight that were very, very glamorous, I guess you can call it — and that’s when that downward spiral happened for me,” the one-time MTV personality continued. “It ignited my addiction and things started to domino effect right before my own eyes, and before you knew it, it got out of control and I couldn’t handle it.”
The California native hit a low point in 2009 and tried to take his own life. “My addiction drove me to suicide,” Wahler shared with ET. “Not contemplation. Actually attempting suicide. And somebody found me and that’s why I’m still here today. I’m very grateful for that.”
Wahler — who said that he had not only a serious problem with drinking, but with cocaine as well — noted that his hard-partying ways affected his relationship with ex-girlfriend (and The Hills’ leading lady) Lauren Conrad.
“Oh, my alcoholism, a hundred percent,” he said, admitting his issues with substance abuse contributed to his often-tumultuous romance with LC. The pair dated off and on throughout the mid-aughts until they broke up in August 2006. The aftermath of their split was memorably documented on season 2 of The Hills, which aired in 2007.
“I became a totally different person active in my addiction versus when I’m sober and living life in recovery,” the reformed bad boy added. “It’s a totally different mentality and thought process. The way my brain operates, it’s completely different.”
Wahler, who entered rehab multiple times and appeared on season 4 of Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew, has been sober since July 23, 2010. In 2015, he opened a sober living facility called Widespread Recovery in Orange County. Eleven months into sobriety, Wahler met his wife, Ashley Slack, whom he wed in October 2013. The couple hope to start a family by 2017.
“We want probably two, but I want to be in a spot where I can actually raise my kids and be a part of their life,” Wahler told ET about future fatherhood. “And, so, you know, that’s a big piece to me and I think that … hopefully next year, we’ll have a little junior.”
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