LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — “Real World” star Joey Kovar, who was a cast member of a recent Hollywood season of the hit MTV show, was found dead Friday near his home in Chicago.
Various Internet reports say the embattled Kovar — who also had a stint on the show “Celebrity Rehab” in 2010 — was 29.
According to TMZ, Kovar’s family believed he was abusing drugs. An official cause of death has not been disclosed. Kovar’s brother denied the family believes drugs were a factor. David Kovar told the Chicago Tribune, “That is not what anyone is suspecting, my brother was doing very well.”
The family told the newspaper Kovar was sober for about six months and was looking forward to a new project.
On his season of the “Real World” four years ago, Kovar was a break-out for publicly dealing with his demons for all the world to see.
Often angry, combative and a powder keg of emotions, the producers ultimately shipped him off to rehab after several drug-induced and alcohol-related outbursts.
An aspiring actor, and former trainer and bodybuilder, Kovar took viewers on an emotional roller coaster as he batted alcohol and drugs, like cocaine, steroids and ecstasy.
In recent years, family and friends told reporters Kovar had gotten involved with prescription medications.
A friend was quoted Friday as saying he was worried Kovar was depressed and sending “very suicidal text messages lately.”
Via their twitter account, Bunim-Murray productions — makers of “The Real World” — tweeted: “Joey was a gentle and big hearted guy and his real world family will miss him. Our sympathies go out to his family and friends. Our deepest condolences go out to the friends and family of Joey Kovar. RIP dear friend.”
Kovar reportedly leaves behind a son, 3 and a daughter, 2.