Steve Wilkos, known mostly for his extended stint as a bodyguard on The Jerry Springer Show, has been charged with driving under the influence. Wilkos turned himself into the authorities on Wednesday evening.
TMZ first broke the news of Wilkos’ dangerous accident which happened on January 23. Wilkos was driving the only car in the crash and miraculously walked away with minor injuries. Wilkos struck multiple poles and a tree before his car flipped. When speaking to TMZ at the time, Wilkos claimed he got distracted after searching for his glasses on the car floor.
Now the talk show host has admitted he was under the influence. Wilkos had a blood alcohol content of 0.29 percent, way above the legal limit which is 0.08 percent in Connecticut, where the accident took place.
After admitting to his lie, Wilkos also told TMZ that he struggled with depression throughout his life, which appeared to be the catalyst to his decision to drink and drive the night of his accident. He then also admitted he had completed rehab and called the experience “intense.”
In his statement, Wilkos also said it was time for him to focus on his own struggles after helping people with their own on his show for over a decade.
“Opening up my personal life to this level has been extremely difficult for my family and me, and I ask for your support in respecting our privacy so that we can all heal and move forward. I am so sorry to my family for any grief and embarrassment I have caused.”
Wilkos was released Wednesday night after posting bail. There is no court date scheduled at this time and no word on potential sentencing. If Wilkos is eventually jailed for his DUI, it could possibly affect future tapings of his show.
The tough-love host joined the United States Marine Corps in 1982 and was discharged in 1989. In 1990 he became an officer in the Chicago Police Department and was recruited by The Jerry Springer Show in 1994.
When the notorious show was just kicking off, it was evident they were going to need security. Since they were shooting in Chicago at the time, producers turned to the Chicago Police Department for strong men who could work part-time on their show.
Wilkos ended up serving as the head of security on the show until 2007. He was a fan-favorite and often had his name chanted as he broke up fights between troubled guests. In September 2007, he began his own talk show, The Steve Wilkos Show. The show aims to help down-on-their-luck guests overcome struggles in their lives.
The Steve Wilkos Show is still in production and can be seen on WGN America.