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Captain Phil Harris' Death, Drug-Fueled Past Rocked His Family Before 'Deadliest Catch' Star Josh Was Cut From Discovery

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Sep. 7 2022, Published 5:00 a.m. ET

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The passing of Captain Phil Harris, a beloved former star on Deadliest Catch, rocked his family to the core years before his eldest son, Josh, came under fire for sexual abuse allegations, RadarOnline.com can confirm.

Harris died on February 9, 2010, at the age of 53 after he suffered a stroke while unloading a boat at Saint Paul Island, Alaska.

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Prior to his death, the TV fisherman miraculously came out of a medically-induced coma post-surgery and was able to spend some final moments with his loved ones.

"They're devastated," an insider said about Phil's two boys who were grieving.

"We're really worried about them — especially [his younger son] Jake," they told RadarOnline.com at the time. "He's a tough kid, but nothing prepares you for the sudden loss of your father."

Jake was busted soon after for a DUI and driving with a suspended license. "There's a lot of worry that he's just not coping with the tragedy," a source said amid the news.

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In a biography written by his two sons titled Captain Phil Harris: The Legendary Crab Fisherman, Our Hero, Our Dad, they pulled back the curtain on some of their father's own personal struggles as well as his vices.

"My dad once told me that when he was a young crab fisherman, he'd get a big fat paycheck, buy huge amounts of cocaine ... rent the penthouse of a nice hotel, and rotate girls in and out," Josh recalled, revealing his dad could drink heavily from time to time.

They said their father went through periods of sobriety and monogamy with his first wife — their mother Mary — claiming the marriage was sprinkled with mutual cheating.

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While talking about his past hardships and choices, Josh and Jake recalled just how strong Phil was as well, noting he inspired them not to give up.

"He was someone who never backed down," they wrote. "We will remember and celebrate that strength."

This past weekend, Josh made headlines when Factz Media published a report claiming the reality star got in trouble for sexual assault back in 1998.

Josh allegedly raped a 4-year-old girl, who was said to be the daughter of a neighbor and deckhand. He was reportedly 15 or 16 at the time.

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He was later arrested in 1999 for a lesser charge, per the report, and served nine months and underwent a psychosexual exam as part of his sentence.

RadarOnline.com broke the story, following the bombshell report, Discovery cut ties with Josh.

"We've been made aware of this issue. Josh will not appear in future episodes of this series," a spokesperson for Discovery told RadarOnline.com.

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