“I saw my son lying on the floor in the cat litter, foam coming out of his mouth”
Karamo Brown speaks publicly about his son’s drug overdose.
The 41-year-old ‘Queer Eye’ star hit home on Thursday’s episode of his show ‘Karamo’ when he opened up about finding his son in the midst of a drug overdose two years ago.
“Today I’m going to be very vulnerable with all of you. It’s something I’ve never spoken about publicly,” Brown began.
“Almost two years ago I found my eldest son Jason lying on the floor dying of a drug overdose,” he shared. “And I was terrified. I was about to lose my son. I didn’t know what to do. I was in shock.”
Karamo revealed that he noticed his son Jason was slipping after he stopped answering his calls and paying his bills. Things escalated when the 23-year-old missed his flight to see his mother in Texas and the TV personality came to her apartment to confront Jason about his behavior.
“When I got to the apartment, I walked up the stairs and the door was ajar,” he recalled, adding that he initially thought his son had been robbed.
“I opened the door and it was a total mess…the house was dirty and I saw my son lying on the floor in the kitty litter, suds coming out of his mouth,” he said. he says with tears in his eyes.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever suffered from addiction in your own life or with family members, but when you find out what’s going on and realize what’s going on without realizing it, when you realize that you might lose someone, it kills you inside,” he added.
The 25-year-old also appeared on the daytime TV show to share his story of addiction and detailed when he first tried hard drugs.
“It all started…in college…” Jason began. “Dad, you gave me your car that night to go to a party, you told me the car had to be back here or it’s my a–, but I was too drunk and I couldn’t drive. I wasn’t about to drive…your car at the time and someone came up to me and said ‘Try this, it’s cocaine. It’ll sober you up, I promise you it’ll do.” It did the trick. I remember driving home and feeling physically like, “Oh, I need more .””
Getting emotional, Brown asked his son why he didn’t think he could come see him as the two seemed to have an honest relationship. The “real world” alum explained that he adopted a parenting style that facilitated open dialogue instead of inflicting punishment for lying.
“So why at that time did you [not] feel like you could talk to me? Why at this time [didn’t] do you think you could call me and say ‘hey dad, I messed up’ you know?” asked Karamo.
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Jason confessed he ‘didn’t think straight’ as he was under the influence and wouldn’t call to say he had taken his dad’s car to a party with a group of college students who were also under the influence. ‘influence.
“Actually, I was so relieved every time you caught me…when you found me,” he continued. “I don’t know, I was really tired of the way I was living and at some point I felt like I was tired of living. It was kind of like a cry for help.”
Jason revealed he was battling depression at the time. “I didn’t talk to you at all, mom, family. I just lost every type of connection with anyone and everyone I once loved except for drugs. That was the only thing that stuck with me. ‘obsessed,’ he said.
He was also able to comfort his father after Karamo admitted he struggled with not noticing the signs of his addiction.
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“Honestly, it was up to me, because I was coming to see you every day and every time I saw you, every time I called you… I was showing up in the best light, ‘Hey! Dad don’t nothing wrong with coming here’ like really making sure you had no idea what was going on I was on my ps and qs with that.
It wasn’t until Jason was 10 that Karamo learned he had fathered a son. In an interview with Parents, the reality star revealed he only learned he was a father when he was subpoenaed for child support.
“My last girlfriend in high school – when I was 15 – got pregnant with my child but didn’t tell me,” Karamo recalled. “I was confused, sad, angry and weirdly excited to be a dad, but still felt lost.”
He then adopted Jason, along with Jason’s half-brother, Chris.
Ever since his high school girlfriend, Karamo has lived as a proud openly gay man and was even engaged to longtime partner Ian Jordan from 2010 until they split in 2020. Brown is romantically linked to Carlos Medel since 2021.
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, seek help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline (1-800-662-4357) provides free and confidential 24/7 assistance to people in distress.
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