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Stealing, Fighting, Drug Dealing & Crashing Cars: ‘Catfish’ Star Nev Schulman’s Shocking Secret Past Revealed: ‘It’s A Miracle I’m Still Alive,’ He Says In New Tell-All

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Sep. 4 2014, Published 7:24 a.m. ET

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On his hit show Catfish, Nev Schulman exposes the real lives of people in online relationships.

But can exclusively reveal that the “good guy” host has hidden his own shocking secret: a past life as stealing, car-crashing drug dealer who was tossed out of high school.

In his upcoming book, In Real Life: Love, Lives & Identity in the Digital Age, Schulman, 29, comes clean about his “long and illustrious career as a juvenile delinquent.”

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As a freshman, the teen was suspended from high school for waving condoms around in class, but ultimately kicked out for swiping a WiFi card from his computer teacher’s desk.

“My real problem was stealing,” he admits in the new part-memoir, part-advice book. “I stole DVDs from Tower Records, clothing from Ralph Lauren, and a host of other miscellaneous items.”

But the angst-ridden teen didn’t learn his lesson then. When Schulman began his college years at Sarah Lawrence in New York, his behavior took a dangerous turn.

“There were car crashes,” he writes. “I wrecked a 1980 Porche (fell asleep at the wheel), a Harley-Davidson (going too fast on vacation) and a 1992 Acura Legend…It’s probably a miracle I’m still alive.”

The New York native also broke into a restaurant and stole all the liquor, and began selling drugs, including marijuana and mushrooms.

In a disgusting stunt, Schulman says he broke into his school cafeteria and “took a dump in the cereal dispenser,” which shut down the kitchen for two days.

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“I was on the outs with everyone,” he confesses. “I disappointed my family; I infuriated authorities; I pissed off half the kids at my school.”

After getting arrested during a fight at a party, the budding photographer was thrown out of college his junior year.

Schulman says he was ultimately a victim to a “catfish”— a person who creates a fake online identity— because he felt unfulfilled.

“I wanted attention. A sense of value. I wanted to be needed,” he explains. “I’d go to parties, take pictures, get laid. It was surface. I was ‘lite’”

He began an eight-month online courtship with 19-year-old ballet dancer named Megan, who wound up actually being a middle-aged woman in Michigan.

His heartbreak led to his 2010 independent film about the ordeal, Catfish, and eventually the wildly popular TV show.

Now a law-abiding citizen at 29, Schulman says he tries to be “kind and respectful and humble and pleasant” with everyone he comes across.



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