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The Real World: New York’s Eric Nies Recalls How the Show Saved His Life During Reunion Sneak Peek

Revealing all. The first-ever cast of The Real World is back together. Norman Korpi, Julie Gentry, Becky Blasband, Kevin Powell, Andre Comeau, Heather Gardner and Eric Nies became the first group of strangers picked to live in a loft in 1992, and for the first time, the cast united for E!’s For Real: The Story of Reality TV.

In a new sneak peek, Nies, 49, reveals the large impact his time on MTV had on his life.

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“If The Real World didn’t happen and my life didn’t go the way that it did, I might have been dead. There were a lot of wounds that I was suppressing from my childhood, and I was on a self-destructive path. And I started using drugs at a young age,” he tells host Andy Cohen in a Monday, February 22, preview. “I was able to look at myself and see the things that I didn’t like about myself that I wanted to change. So yeah, in a way, The Real World kind of saved my life.”

The Real World New York's Eric Nies Recalls How the Show Saved His Life
The Real World New York’s Eric Nies E!

The New Jersey Native then explains that he wasn’t using drugs while living in the house in 1992 because he was on probation and being drug tested while working with kids in Lenox Hill.

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Neis, who went on to compete on three seasons of The Challenge after The Real World ended, later reveals that he “went through physical abuse, verbal abuse [and] sexual abuse” in his past, which led him to use drugs.

“That’s the reason why I started exploring all these different avenues to heal myself,” the licensed Doctor of Pastoral Science and Medicine says. “If you’ve never done Ayahuasca, you can actually go into your, like, your subconscious mind and access the files of your soul’s existence in many, many lifetimes.”

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In addition to the E! series, The Real World franchise is set to return to TV with a new series, The Real World: Homecoming, debuting on Paramount+ on Thursday, March 4. The show will look back at the explosive moments of the series and will kick off with a full reunion of the season 1 cast returning to their New York City loft.

For Real: The Story of Reality TV debuts on E! Thursday, March 25, at 9 p.m. ET.

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