Jeff Lewis Admits He's Been 'a Functioning Alcoholic' for 2 Years Amid Ongoing Child Custody Battle
The former Flipping Out star opened up about his alcohol use on Tuesday's episode of Jeff Lewis Live
Jeff Lewis is opening up for the first time about his drinking.
On Tuesday’s episode of his Sirius XM radio show Jeff Lewis Live, the former Flipping Out star revealed that he has been “a functioning alcoholic” more than he’d like over the last 24 months to deal with “stress” and “pain” in his personal life.
“I feel like over the last two years, I have been leaning on alcohol,” Lewis, 49, admitted on air. “Last night, I made a commitment to myself that I was gonna go one night without having a drink, and I didn’t do that. And now today I’m beating myself up with guilt.”
He later added, “I just admitted I was a functioning alcoholic. This is a big show for me.”
The reality star also shared what he thinks has led him to start drinking daily. “I feel like especially with everything that’s happened over the past 24 months, I am leaning a little bit on alcohol, because it numbs the pain, it helps me with my stress, it helps me relax, and it’s become a routine frankly. I was thinking to myself last night — because I’m mad at myself . . . that I didn’t keep my commitment to myself— I’m thinking maybe I just need to remove all of the alcohol in my house. I think that would literally probably cut out alcohol consumption by 60 percent, because I drink home alone.”
He later joked, “I become nicer when I drink. I’m so happy. I should drink during the day.” Before adding, “Oh, right that’s not the direction we’re going.”
The admission comes amid a particularly drama-filled few months for the famous house flipper. After splitting from his partner of 10 years Gage Edward in February, Lewis has been involved in an “ugly” ongoing custody battle over their daughter, Monroe, 3.
Over the past 10 months, the former couple went from having a relatively peaceful open-door coparenting policy to bringing in lawyers to negotiate Monroe’s time with each of her dads.
In October, Lewis said that he no longer wants to be in contact with Edward at all, though on Tuesday’s show, he said he might want to explore a friendship with Edward. They are currently testing an arrangement that sees Monroe transferred between her parents every few days.
Monroe was also expelled from her prestigious Montessori preschool in September after comments Lewis made on the radio about the school and some of her classmates’ parents didn’t sit well with administrators. She has since started at a new school, where Lewis said he made a donation to secure her a spot on short notice.
The future of his TV career is also uncertain. The 11th season of Flipping Out ended with Lewis having a major falling out with Jenni Pulos, his friend of nearly 20 years and longtime co-star, over alleged complaints he says she filed against him with Bravo. Pulos vehemently denies this claim.
“Citing wrongful termination claim, wrong. Citing abuse claim, wrong. Citing victimization claim, wrong.” she said in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE in November 2018.
Lewis has since said he regrets the fight.
After the finale, Bravo exec Andy Cohen, who is also Lewis’s boss at Sirius XM (his show airs on the channel Radio Andy), hinted at the fate of Flipping Out. “It felt like a series finale,” Cohen said of season 11’s last episode.
WATCH THIS: Gage Edward Shares Smiling Selfie with Monroe Amid Custody Battle with Ex Jeff Lewis
The TV personality has since said that he’s been shopping a new show around, but has not confirmed a project. Meanwhile, Jeff Lewis Live was bumped up to five days a week from three. Lewis is also continuing on with his work as owner of the house flipping business Jeff Lewis Design. He recently listed a completely renovated home for sale in Beverly Hills, asking $3.5 million.
Jeff Lewis Live airs weekdays (12 p.m. ET) on SiriusXM Radio Andy (Ch. 102).
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.