Out 'Million Dollar Listing's' Tyler Whitman Talks Sobriety. Drinking Was His 'Dirty Little Secret'

Friday July 30, 2021
Originally published on July 23, 2021

Tyler Whitman
Tyler Whitman   (Source:Bravo)

When out television personality Tyler Whitman watched himself on the current season of "Million Dollar Listing New York," he wasn't happy with what he saw.

"I know when I was struggling and when I wasn't on the show, and for me, there is such a clear difference," he told Page Six in a new interview. "It was basically everything that was pre-pandemic were my darkest days with alcohol. There were times that the producers and nobody that I was filming with knew but where I knew I was very drunk for the actual scenes, and it was hard for me to watch that."

"It was while quarantining with a friend that Tyler realized he needed to make a lifestyle change.," reports Bravo TV.

He explained to Page Six "that he was drinking every day during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with a friend he quarantined with — until he came to a realization that he couldn't keep up with his habits. "I came home with two bottles of wine on April 15, and I drank them both over tears, and that was the last sip of alcohol I had," he said.

Whitman noted that while "the first few months were really hard" and his "cravings were overwhelming," he feels better mentally and physically today.

On the year anniversary of his sobriety in April, he posted an IG with just the number 365.

"It's been very enlightening," he said. "I had been struggling with drinking. It didn't really start until I turned 30, and then it was gradual. And then by the time I was like 32, 33, it was pretty out of control. But because I was very high-functioning and I didn't get, like, the worst hangovers, I was still showing up for work. I wasn't mean. And so I was kind of just getting away with it. And I think because of that, I wasn't putting a huge effort into fixing this problem that I was very aware of. I was very aware of it. But it was like my dirty little secret."

In an interview with Distractify, Tyler said "I needed the bars to be shut down," "I needed my social life to be taken away from me so I could focus on healing this addiction and investing in all of the work that comes with it."

"Alcohol Tyler was certainly a persona that I lived in comfortably for many years. ... I'm not going to be the loudest, most fun person in the room," he said. "The challenge at first was still feeling like I needed to be that person."

While he had "previously battled food addiction and lost 200 pounds with a gastric sleeve procedure, he said that getting sober was a more difficult prospect for him," adds Distractify.

"Quitting drinking makes the weight loss look easy. It's the hardest thing I've ever done," he said. "Alcohol had a death grip on me."

Tyler joined the hit Bravo series during its eighth season in 2019. The ninth season began airing in May and completes its 12-episode cycle on July 29. "In comparison to his co-stars, Fredrik Eklund, Ryan Serhant, and Steve Gold, Tyler was newer to real estate, and he took on his first "life-changing" listing over $10 million in front of the cameras," wrote Distractify.

"By the time Season 9 premiered in May of 2021, Tyler had truly hit his stride. With the addition of Kirsten 'K.J.' Jordan, Tyler was no longer the new(est) agent on the series, and his business was booming."

He also shared a moment of sobriety with "MDLNY's" most prominent co-star, Fredrik Eklund, who posted in March Instagram that he is 160 days sober.

"The only person that I've actually spoken to in a good bit about is with Frederik," he said. "Frederik also quit drinking, and he announced it, I guess, probably a similar time to when I did, and neither of us knew that each other had quit drinking until we posted it."

He added that he recently received a text message from Eklund.
"He was checking in, and he was like, 'How's your sobriety going?' And, you know, it has been nice," Whitman said. "It's definitely been nice to share that with him."

Tyler also opened up in a recent interview with pride.com, which also touched upon his issues with alcohol. When asked if he had found his "chosen family," he responded:

"Yeah, I've really found my chosen family through sobriety. I've always had a good circle of friends and they're amazing, but sobriety is when I found other people who are amazing. Sobriety is an enlightening journey and you share that journey with people and there are people I've met in the past six months that make me think 'Oh I had to get sober to meet you?!'" 

He also said being out at an early age helped shape his confidence as an adult. "I was so scared of what everyone would think of me. I learned that if you're confident behind anything that other people's opinions don't matter and you'll be surprised by them, and I learned that through my queerness. It's been a powerful thing that has served me in other areas in my life."