Contrary to swirling rumor, Joey Kovar's family didn't believe that the reality TV star died of drug overdose. His brother, David Kovar, told Chicago Tribune, "That is not what anyone is suspecting, my brother was doing very well."
David claimed Joey had been sober for about six months and was doing a new project. The family was taken aback by his death because he spoke to them on Thursday evening, August 16 when he stayed overnight at a friend's house.
"Everyone is in shock right now. He seemed fine, he was happier and he was doing better," David insisted, before adding, "Everything was going very well. The very, very last thing that our family is suspecting is drugs."
Joey was found dead on August 17 at a friend's home in Chicago. He is survived by a 3-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter. "He loved them more than anything, he was just a great father," David said. "He never let any of that go to his head. He was still about being by family."
The 29-year-old star appeared in the 2008 Hollywood edition of "The Real World". He sought help for methamphetamine, steroids, cocaine and alcohol addictions, and entered the third season of "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" the next year.
Fellow "Celebrity Rehab" and "Real World" stars have since offered condolence. "RIP Joey Kovar my heart breaks. My love and prayers go out to your family," tweeted "Celebrity Rehab" alum Mackenzie Phillips. "Real World: Cancun" star CJ Koegel wrote, "We lost a member of our family but he will never be forgotten."
Bunim-Murray Productions, which made "Real World", added, "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."