“Real World: Hollywood” housemate Joey Kovar, 29, was found dead this morning at a friend’s house in south suburban Chicago Ridge, according to family and police.
Chicago Ridge police and paramedics were called to an apartment building in the 9800 block of South Sayre Avenue shortly before 9 a.m. and found the 29-year-old Kovar dead, authorities said.
Police said they were conducting a death investigation but indicated no foul play was suspected. An autopsy is expected to be performed Saturday.
Kovar continued to live in Evergreen Park as he appeared in the reality television shows. The former personal trainer and body builder had battled drug and alcohol abuse.
Joey Kovar told the Tribune in 2009 that he believed his honesty about using drugs and partying, combined with his personality, were reasons why he got picked for “Real World: Hollywood.”
“We kind of have an ‘I don’t give a [bleep]’ attitude. What you see is what you get,” Kovar said. “People want edgy. People want attitude. People want in-your-face, and that’s what Chicagoans bring. The attitude we have is what’s going to draw the ratings.”
Joey left The Real World: Hollywood halfway through filming to go to rehab to treat his addiction to booze. Joey came back to the house after 30 days, but left for good, because he was afraid that being there would drive him back to the bottle.
At The Real World: Hollywood reunion, he said that he had been sober for around 10 months. But a year later, Joey checked into the third season of Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab, because he wanted to kick his addictions to booze, coke, steroids and other bad habits.
Kovar’s family said he had been sober for about six months and the aspiring actor was working on a new project. His brother David Kovar said Kovar was at a friend’s home overnight, but family members had spoken with him on Thursday evening.
“Everyone is in shock right now. He seemed fine, he was happier and he was doing better,” David Kovar said.
One of Joey’s friends tells E! News that he was completely off illegal drugs, but he was popping pills like crazy, “He was prescribed anti-anxiety meds, but he would take so many, he didn’t like the way it made him feel. So he would take Adderall to bring himself back up. I have a feeling his body being pulled in two different directions just overloaded his heart.”
David Kovar disputed a TMZ report that said his family suspected Joey Kovar died from a drug overdose. “That is not what anyone is suspecting, my brother was doing very well,” David Kovar said. “Everything was going very well. The very, very last thing that our family is suspecting is drugs.”
Kovar spent what free time he had with his 3-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. He was discovered on the street by a talent scout in Chicago when he was 24 years old and quickly made his name on the reality shows.
David Kovar said he never let the fame get to his head. He said his life revolved around his children. “He loved them more than anything. He was just a great father,” said his brother. “He never let any of that go to his head. He was still about being by family.”
Joey is the third Real Worlder and the fourth Celebrity Rehabber to pass away.