Summer House fans witnessed a heartbreaking moment on the latest episode. After a night of arguing, the camera panned to the morning after with cast member Carl Radke crying on the phone with his mom. Radke then walks up to costar Lindsay Hubbard’s room and informs her that his brother, Curtis Radke, has died. Curtis Radke died August 10, 2020 at 40-years-old, per his obituary.
Prior to his brother’s death, Carl Radke had opened up about his brother’s struggle with mental health and addiction. The Summer House star posted an Instagram on September 4 with a lengthy caption. “A couple of weeks ago, my brother Curtis passed away after a life-long battle with mental illness and addiction,” he wrote. “Losing my big brother is something I never could have imagined, and the sense of loss is even greater.”
Radke also shared a series of photos with his brother shortly after his death. He wrote in the caption, “Curtis, I know you’re in a better and safer place. My heart is in pieces. I hope you know I love you and will never forget you. Brothers fight, brothers cry, brothers battle, brothers love and brothers protect…. You’re my Big Brother and that will never change. We will watch over your family and carry on the Radke name with pride and love. I’ll be listening to the music you love and will be right there with you. Miss you bro. I Love you. RIP.”
Although Radke had intentions to “rectify my [his] relationship” with his brother over the summer, he shared that the last time he had seen Curtis Radke was in 2017 for their grandfather’s funeral. “I told him I loved him,” Radke told Today. “It was difficult and emotional, but it was the truth. I had no idea that it would be the last time we spoke.”
Radke Opened Up About His Brother’s Struggle
Radke spoke with Today about his brother earlier this month where he discussed his brother’s life. “Because of the five-year age gap between us, we didn’t always quite get along like competitive brothers do,” he told Today. “I wanted to be just like him as a kid. He was an amazing athlete who played five different sports and was well respected.”
But the 36-year-old reality star shared that he noticed his brother began to change as he got older. “Things changed in high school,” he said. “We have a very competitive community with sports and academics, and I always felt like we were measured by social status. That pressure was a lot for a 14-year-old entering high school. I think when you’re young and don’t feel like you fit in, it’s easier to run with a crowd who may not be the best to surround yourself with. We definitely noticed a big change in his school work and he found himself getting into trouble a lot more.”
He added, “At the time, I did not fully realize Curtis struggled with his mental health and then soon enough his run with addictions. It wasn’t until much later as an adult I gained better insight into what this really meant…Going off to college allowed me space from my brother, who unfortunately was becoming worse. He dropped out of college and continued to struggle with addiction. I still cared so much about him, even though it was really hard at times. Loving someone with an addiction is extremely tough. For a long time, I felt a lot of fear and shame about my brother because of the stigma that remains around mental health and addiction.”
Radke Has Worked on Honoring His Brother
Shortly after his brother’s death, Radke announced that he had begun working with a new company called More Summer Fun, “which is all about maintaining warm vibes even during the ‘stormy’ seasons.”
Right away, Radke was determined to make a difference. For Mental Illness Awareness Week in October, 50 percent of all the company’s proceeds were donated to the Gaiser Addiction Center in Butler, Pennsylvania. Curtis Radke sought treatment at the center throughout his life, Radke noted.
“Weathering the storm is far easier when you’re surrounded by warm energy and good people,” he wrote on Instagram in September. “So let’s act like it, beach. Here’s to transforming a year with lots of loss into something meaningful. More Curtis, More Life.”