Shark Tank star Robert Herjavec contemplated suicide when his marriage to wife of 25 years, Diane Plese, ended. The 51-year-old millionaire businessman who famously appears as one of the savvy investors on ABC’s hit show, Shark Tank, tells People about one of his darkest moments when he realized his life with Diane was over.
“I just wanted to end it,” Herjavec tells the magazine.
The current Dancing with the Stars competitor admits that it’s been a hard year. He and his wife were once a great team, Robert shares.
“It’s been a terribly difficult year. We were great parents and a great team, but over time we drifted apart.”
The Shark Tank star has three kids with Diane. All of them are in high school and college. He says that after he and their mother split, they didn’t want much to do with him.
“Everyone has their kryptonite. For me, it was my kids. It took me to a place I never thought I would go.”
Shockingly, for this mega millionaire who seems to have everything in the eyes of those who watch him on television, he was desperate one night last July. It was so dire, that Herjavec reached out to his pastor, John McAuley, who referred him to Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. It was a place for emergency long-term recovery services provided for the homeless. Yes, he was actually referred to a homeless shelter.
Once the Shark Tank star arrived at the shelter, he was put to work.
“Nobody knew who I was. People thought I was a recovering addict.”
Seeing so much “suffering and hopelessness” among those he was serving in the soup kitchen, Robert Herjavec wasn’t thinking about suicide; his own problems faded.
Herjavec was on “search and rescue missions” in which he brought food and other needs to those living under bridges and overpasses. There was a night he purchased a whole inventory of socks from a local Wal-Mart to donate. He says he probably handed out 100,000 pairs.
Herjaveck used to think that showing compassion was a sign of “weakness.” He realizes that’s what viewers see on Shark Tank, but he learned something about himself during the homeless mission he was on for 2-and-a-half weeks.
When the tech mogul returned to Hollywood, he was offered a gig on Dancing with the Stars. Herjavec said he “jumped at the chance.” He became a fan of the show in 2007. At first he was “petrified” of doing it, but he says the experience is wonderful and he’s loving it.
Addressing rumors that he and the DWTS pro are dating, he tells People he finds Kym to be a good friend.
“The entire cast and crew of Dancing with the Stars is evolving into an extended family and is incredibly supportive. Kym has become a great friend, and it is so much fun to be able to share this experience with her.”
Herjavec is excited to be on another hit ABC reality show. He says he’s at a place now where he can make “sense of it all.” The cast member of Shark Tank also says he still helps the homeless in Seattle whenever he can and has donates his own money to the shelter in an effort to help support it.
Robert Herjavec was considering suicide, but he says the homeless people “saved his life.”
[Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]