My 600-Lb Life’s Steven Assanti Talks TLC, Marriage, And His Difficult Relationship With His Brother – Exclusive Interview
Steven Assanti is one of the most memorable breakout stars of TLC’s My 600-Lb Life, largely because of his controversial behavior on screen. Prior to his first appearance during Season 5 of My 600-Lb Life, Assanti’s claim to fame was getting kicked out of a hospital — where he was in a weight-loss program — for ordering pizza, per the New York Post.
According to The Washington Times, he briefly lived in his father’s car before appearing on reality TV, and on the show, fans saw Assanti battle his brother Justin, steal his pain pills, argue with Dr. Younan Nowzaradan and eventually end up in rehab for his addiction. It was a rocky road, but memorable enough that the internet is still buzzing about Assanti years later.
For a time, Assanti retreated from public life amid rumors that his marriage was fake. TLC’s clips — and occasional comments from his brother Justin — garnered him a reputation as abusive, despite his wife’s claims that he has a “heart of gold.” In December 2020, the reality star exclusively opened up to Nicki Swift to set the record straight, talk about TLC’s filming process and more. Was everything really as bad as it looked on TV? Keep scrolling to find out.
When it comes to his weight loss journey, Steven Assanti is 'trying every day'
All right. I want to talk about the show first because you’ve lost so much weight on the show. Have you been able to maintain that weight loss or what’s that been like?
Well, it’s kind of up and down. I’m still having issues right now, again, with weight. The issues are back again. Now, with that said, I’m looking to see if I can get the revision done. The gastric bypass, which is called a revision, when you’ve already had the gastric sleeve. I’ve done well for a while, for a long while.
Yeah. I’m not back where I originally started. I’m not over 700 pounds again. I’m still maintaining in the 500, some high level, around that area, but it’s still tough. I’m looking into the revision to see if that would help speed it up or help as a tool, because I know it’s not an overnight thing. It’s a tool. It’s not easy, regardless it’s not easy. I’m trying every day.
I know. That’s so impressive though, because to keep 200 pounds off is unbelievable. You should be so proud.
Steven Assanti spills the tea on TLC
I know that the show kind of changes your life. You’re on television and everyone’s out there to judge whatever they want about you, especially with how they edit it. People aren’t there so they don’t know what actually happened, but are there any ways your life is different now since being on the show than it was before?
The way they edit the show is true. I mean, I guess, I mean it’s me. A lot of the stuff that I’ve done on that show, it’s me, but I think they over dramatize it too much though because there are good moments as well as bad moments that I did have on that show while the film crew was recording me. They had me go to the lake and walk around and things like that, that didn’t even make television. Just the dramatic stuff.
They had you do dramatic things to just make scenes of? They were like, “Go to a lake and just walk around?”
Well, I would go to a lake and walk around, and I would do all this good stuff for them. They would tell me that they would put it in somewhere, but they don’t. What they do is they only show me going crazy, and yelling at people, and taking pain pills, and just all the bad stuff. They choose not to show anything that’s good.
Well, it’s certainly more interesting.
They make me look really bad, and it’s not true because I am a good person.
Yeah. I totally understand that. I mean, it makes for really good TV to see people yelling at each other. You don’t get to see the other side of that. You just see the moment.
For sure. It’s all about the ratings. I’m outspoken. I say it like it is. I don’t give a sh*t.
Oh, good. That’s the way to be in my opinion.
I don’t care. I’m going to call them out. It is what it is.
Steven and Justin Assanti are 'two different people'
I read something that I think your brother said on Reddit, because he did the show with you, where you are no longer speaking. Are you speaking now again? Have you managed to work things out?
No, Justin is his own person. We don’t talk. He wants no involvement with the show anymore either, but we don’t talk. I mean, when I call my dad, occasionally I’ll hear him in the background. He’ll say a couple things here and there to me, but as far as a brother relationship or something like that, we don’t talk. We’re two different people. We totally are.
Yeah. But it happens.
That must be really hard.
No, not for me. No, it’s not hard. You know why? You know why it’s not hard because I create my own family. I have an awesome wife.
For Steven Assanti, a happy wife means a happy life
I’ve wanted to ask you about her because I was reading. People online were thinking that it was fake, and it’s obviously not fake. How did that make you feel when people on the Internet or whatever were suspecting that you’re lying about having this wife that you obviously adore?
Oh, I love her with all my heart and soul. Let’s rewind to the beginning when I first met her, because I read an article when me and my wife, well girlfriend, but wife now, but girlfriend when I first met her. An article popped up, and it had said something that like, “Oh, he’s being cat fished,” and stuff like that. Me and her, we would just laugh, and we would be like, “Meow.” And she’d be like, “Meow.” Silly things like that, because I know she wasn’t a catfish, but people would, people were really awful though to her, horrible things.
Did that really affect her? Because that’s really tough to be bullied online on such a scale of national television.
I mean, it affected her, but she’s not like me. She’s not out there like me. She’s a private person, but it did affect her. She’d get angry a lot, but eventually we just, we both disappeared for a while, but she’s not an internet [person]. She’s not out there like me. I love internet, and I like interviews and being put out there on a pedestal, and she’s not. She’s more of a private [person], but she’s awesome.
How’d you guys meet?
We actually met, well, I was on YouTube Live. That’s how it all started. There was other people in there. She was in there, and I noticed that she was typing all these things to me. It’s so weird, I don’t understand how it happened, but eventually as the chat went on, whatever, I kind of only noticed her comments and nobody else’s.
There was a ton of people in there. It’s like nobody else mattered but what she was saying eventually, but I didn’t give it up. I didn’t give it up easy. I didn’t. I was playing hard to get as a lot of guys do. I really didn’t think anything of it actually. What am I saying? But no, because she’s so beautiful. I didn’t think I was going to get somebody like that. I didn’t.
She said, she messaged me and she’s like, “Well, I guess you don’t want a girlfriend.” That’s how it all started. And then it went on from there, and we met at a hotel. She came and picked me up from there, from Texas. It’s a nice cutesy little love story.
Steven Assanti loves the camera
That is really cute. Going back to the show, I know we were talking a little bit about the editing, especially because I read your brother saying that it was crazy edited. What specifically in that, do you think, were there any portrayals that you think were just specifically wrong? Just not accurate at all?
I think, I mean, everything you see is accurate, but like I said, they just overdramatize it. They don’t bother showing anything that is, that’s good, because they filmed me and my family doing good things too, but they choose to show just the bad things. Do you know what I’m saying? Does that make sense?
I do. I mean, I’m a reality TV addict for that reason.
Yeah. Like come on, it can’t be all bad, right? Let’s be honest. It wasn’t, see? It really wasn’t.
So, what was the best part then of filming?
The best part of filming was filming because I like to be in front of cameras anyway. The best part of filming was filming for me, personally.
Steven Assanti thinks Dr. Phil is the real deal
Say it. What were you on?
Dr. Phil: House of Hatred. I was on that too. That was the name of the show, exactly.
What was Dr. Phil like?
Dr. Phil is a real bad a**. He’s real. I can’t say anything bad about him. He was dead on real. He’s no bulls**t type of person. He was real. The producers, everybody.
That’s awesome. I’m not familiar with that show, so I don’t know.
Oh, he’s real. He makes everybody cry and everything. He’s real though, no he is.
Did you have a good experience on that show, or was it just an experience?
No. I had an awesome experience on that show, and it was an experience too. It was a social experiment between me, and I think it was five other people and different prejudices. I hated skinny people, which I really don’t, and he figured out why I was really there. I just wanted to be in front of the camera and all that.
That sounds great.
I’ll have to go try and find that.
Yeah, because on the show you can see me wave to all because we had a bunch of cameras all over the house and stuff like that. Kind of like Big Brother. I would go up to all the cameras and be like, “Hey, hi,” and all that. I didn’t know he was watching because he had the ability to watch from his car, his office, and all that.
Stevan Assanti says TLC producers will do anything to get a good shot
With filming for TLC, since you were already a little bit experienced when you went on, was there anything unexpected that happened?
The producers were nice, but they were more aggressive than the producers on Dr. Phil, because there were days where I didn’t feel like filming, and didn’t want to open my door. They would just wait outside until I did open my door, and they would continuously knock. They were more persistent and aggressive, I guess. Annoying.
That must have been annoying.
Well, so going back to the first thing since I don’t have that many more questions for you. I mean, you talked so much about the show. It’s just so interesting seeing the process of what reality TV is actually like.
Yeah. That’s the honest truth. Like I said, everything is, other reality shows too. It’s just overdramatized. They don’t bother showing anything that’s good as far as what I seen on any other shows. It’s sad.
Yeah. I mean, I love it, but it’s probably not nice to be on the other side.
Oh, I love it too. I love reality TV. I love being on TV. I love being talked about.
Steven Assanti on navigating the pandemic as a high risk individual
What’s your daily life now? I know we’re all stuck in a pandemic, but what is it like for you? If they were filming now, what would we see?
It would be boring. It’s just pandemic life. I like to be in my own bubble now in this apartment because I fear getting that virus now. It’s just more scary to even go in the apartment hallway now because I’m afraid somebody will come out and go [cough, cough] seriously.
Yeah. It’s scary. It’s a different world right now.
Yeah, especially being high risk when it seems like anyone you know could — you know. That’s scary.
Yeah. Anyone I know could get it.
Have you found any hobbies to keep you busy?
Yeah. I love to listen to music and watch movies, and get ready for the holidays. Christmas, which will be different too. Social distance Christmas, but my wife is still going to come and visit.
Is Steven Assanti's marriage on the rocks?
Where does your wife live?
She lives about an hour and a half, hour away. She still lives in the Des Moines area.
If you don’t mind me asking, how come you guys aren’t living together?
Well, we’re, she’s kind of doing her own thing right now. She has her job, and she’s just doing her own thing right now. We’re not, well, I guess we’re technically separated, but we’re still married and together.
Are you working it out or are you …? You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to.
No, we’re always working it out. I love her with all my heart and she loves me. We’re just in two different households right now. Need a little break. Just a little break, that’s all. We’re fine. There’s no arguing. No, nothing like that. We’re cool. We’re still married. She’s awesome.
What's next for Steven Assanti?
Before I leave you, I just want to ask you if there are any projects you’re working on, or anything that you would like to let people know about?
Well, I have a YouTube channel. I’ve done YouTube videos in the past, but I have a YouTube channel. It has no content on it yet, but there will be new content. I plan on-
What’s it called? What’s your handle?
Oh, youtube.com/fatboygetdown. If you look up, “Fat boy get down, my humps,” that was one of my videos that really blew up and took off. I’ve done collaborations as well with a lot of popular YouTubers, being one called The Angry Grandpa Show. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of him, but he’s crazy.
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