How 'Joe Millionaire' Squandered His Wealth
April 20, 2012
Evan Marriott was riding high in 2003 after starring on the wildly successful FOX reality dating series Joe Millionaire and receiving $500,000 for masquerading as a jet-setting millionaire to capture the hearts of the show's bachelorette contestants. The Insider's Brooke Anderson sits down with Evan, who reveals how he lavishly blew through his cash and also recalls how a recent health scare actually helped put his life back on track.
"It wasn't that I went on a spending spree," Evan said. "I mean I bought property, tried to do this real estate thing, and failed miserably. You know, I bought a Mercedes." The former reality star adds that after being caught up in all the attention and fame, he began giving away a lot of his earnings and it dwindled greatly in the first years after the show. "I was handing out $100 bills like they were candy, like I had my own printing press."
The premise of the show was that the women contestants were told Evan was a wealthy bachelor worth about $50 million, but in reality he was a construction worker earning a modest living. He now says he thinks the network's methods were clever but deceptive. "FOX waited until the girls got to Paris to explain the show to them and then it was like all the girls fighting for $50 million dollars -- even Mother Theresa would think about participating."
Evan -- who currently works as a construction contractor -- explains to Brooke that he suffered an on-the-job injury that resulted in a severe ankle injury that nearly led to amputation and still requires the use of a cane when he walks. During this time he says he became depressed and let his weight balloon to more than 270 lbs.
But he said the grueling recovery from his leg injury helped put his life back in perspective and things started looking up for him physically and mentally after a friend turned him onto the nutritional supplement ViSalus. Evan is now partnered with the maker of the weight loss product and created his own Joe Millionaire Challenge to help others get into shape.
Watch the video to hear about Evan's dating life today and also his involvement in FOX's 25th Anniversary Special -- airing this Sunday night at 8 o'clock -- which will provide a look back at the groundbreaking and irreverent shows that have defined the network since it launched on April 5, 1987.
Evan will join a host of other stars to celebrate during FOX's 25th Anniversary Special, airing this Sunday night at 8 o'clock. The special will look back at the groundbreaking and irreverent shows that defined the network after its first transmission on April 5, 1987.