‘Flipping Out’: Jeff Lewis Admits to Being a ‘Functioning Alcoholic’

For years, fans have wondered about Jeff Lewis and his relationship with alcohol. But the former Flipping Out star never openly spoke about it.

Now that he is going through a custody battle with his former partner, Gage Edward, Lewis is finally coming clean about more than a few things, including his alcoholism.

Jeff Lewis
Jeff Lewis | Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Jeff Lewis admits he is an alcoholic

On Nov. 26, Lewis opened up about some intimate details of his life on his Sirius XM radio show Jeff Lewis Live. He admitted that over the past two years, he has become a functioning alcoholic and has used the substance to deal with stress and pain.

“I feel like over the last two years, I have been leaning on alcohol,” Lewis said. “Last night, I made a commitment to myself that I was gonna go one night without having a drink, and I didn’t do that. And now today I’m beating myself up with guilt.”

Lewis hadn’t originally intended on revealing so much on the show.

“I just admitted I was a functioning alcoholic,” he said. “This is a big show for me.”

How did Jeff Lewis become an alcoholic?

Lewis didn’t always have a problem with alcohol. But the stresses of his life started to get to him within the last two years.

“I feel like especially with everything that’s happened over the past 24 months, I am leaning a little bit on alcohol, because it numbs the pain, it helps me with my stress, it helps me relax, and it’s become a routine frankly,” he said. “I was thinking to myself last night — because I’m mad at myself . . . that I didn’t keep my commitment to myself— I’m thinking maybe I just need to remove all of the alcohol in my house. I think that would literally probably cut out alcohol consumption by 60 percent, because I drink home alone.”

Jeff’s breakup

The catalyst for Lewis’ drinking was his dramatic split from Edward after 10 years of being together. The two are now in a custody battle over their three-year-old daughter.

In the beginning, the former couple was co-parenting quite well and didn’t need to have lawyers mediate between them. But things have since changed.

“I have begged him to try to work this out together, but what happens is, sometimes, in all honesty, I feel like I’m co-parenting my child with a child,” Lewis said of Edward on another episode of the show.

“On Sunday, I literally put my face in my hands and thought, ‘This guy is going to torture me for the rest of my life. I’m a prisoner.’”

The two even considered going to private mediation to reach a custody agreement before ultimately deciding to handle the matter privately.

“Whatever he did to me, I can get over,” Lewis said. “Here’s the problem: I don’t believe that he always put our child first. I don’t believe he always considered our child’s well-being and what was best for her, and for that, I can never forgive him.”

For that reason, among others, Lewis has been fighting for majority custody.

“For her best interest, I have been fighting for the majority of the custody,” he said. “I have the house, I have the infrastructure, I have the playroom, the pool, I’ve got the backyard. I’ve got the nanny, the housekeeper, and everything. Plus, all of her classes and her school are within two miles of my house.”