Joey Kovar of “Real World” dies at 29

Joey Kovar – a native of Evergreen Park who appeared in “Real World: Hollywood” and “Celebrity Rehab 3″ – was found dead this morning 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.”

Joey Kovar of "Real World" dies at 29
Joey Kovar.

“Everyone is in shock right now. He seemed fine, he was happier and he was doing better” – David Kovar (Joey’s brother) told the Chicago Tribune.
David Kovar also said the family was not suspecting drug use, despite a TMZ report that said they were, combined with the 29-year-old’s previous struggles with addiction.
“Everything was going very well” – David Kovar told the Tribune. “The very, very last thing that our family is suspecting is drugs.” No foul play was suspected either – police said.
In the 20th “Real World” cycle, set in Hollywood, Joey Kovar left after several episodes to go to a 30-day rehab, then moved back into the house with his castmates before the season ended.
The trainer-bodybuilder and aspiring actor later appeared on “Celebrity Rehab,” saying he struggled with cocaine, ecstasy and alcohol addiction.

Kovar famously battled his addictions while on the “Real World,” even leaving the show midway through the season in 2008 to enter rehab. He ultimately returned to the production, but left again for fear that he might relapse. On the reunion special, Kovar shared that he had been sober for a year. However, he continued to battle demons, later appearing on the VH1 reality show “Celebrity Rehab” in 2009, after he relapsed and began using cocaine and ecstasy again.
He sat down with writers from MTV’s Remote Control blog during his time on the “Real World” and opened up about his struggles and his decision to move back into the house.
“You know, I guess in a way, I did feel a little bit betrayed: by some (castmates) more than others” – he said at the time. “It was my understanding that things would change around the house in order to help keep me on the road to recovery but, unfortunately, the very first night back from rehab, every roommate but Will and Sarah went out and got messed up. To me, that was a little messed up.
“But I am all about being positive nowadays, and I do not and will not hold a grudge on anyone for anything. At one time, I was a very negative person and held a lot of grudges — most of my life was one letdown after another. Now I’m in a very different place. The more positive I am and the more I give back, the better quality my life is and has been.”

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