SPOILER ALERT: Stop reading if you do not want to see potential spoilers for season 16 of The Bachelorette. As Clare Crawley begins to go on dates with her remaining suitors, she seemingly leans into her feelings for frontrunner Dale Moss on season 16 of The Bachelorette. Her time is soon coming to an end as viewers brace to watch her well-publicized departure from the show in the coming weeks.
After Crawley’s exit, the men who choose to remain will then chase after replacement-Bachelorette Tayshia Adams’ heart. According to a report by Reality Steve, the top four men during Adams’ turn as the lead are Ivan Hall, Brendan Morais, Ben Smith and Zac Clark.
Under Crawley’s watchful eye, viewers may not have been exposed to the full backstory of these men. However, somewhat a departure from the dating show’s trope of drunk contestants, Clark is an addict who has turned his recovery into a career.
Per his ABC biography, “After putting his party days behind him and becoming sober himself, Zac C. started a recovery program focused on helping reintegrate people back into the world after rehab, which has become his life’s purpose.”
Clark Started Abusing Pills and Alcohol in High School
Clad in a black suit, Clark spoke during a forum at Alvernia University put together by Caron Treatment Centers and Alvernia and Berks County Probation Office. Reading Eagle covered the 2014 event focused on medicine abuse, something with which Clark has firsthand experience.
“Don’t let this suit fool you,” the publication reports Clark said at the event, adding, “I am a degenerate alcoholic and drug addict.” While he recounted trying to convince a doctor to remove his gallbladder for access to painkillers, it would eventually be a brain tumor that easily put prescription medication within reach. He described it as having a legitimate excuse to go to a doctor.
After the surgery to remove the tumor, he had access to Dilaudid, morphine and other drugs. He took to smoking and snorting OxyContin. It would eventually culminate in using heroin, smoking crack and inhaling nitrous oxide.
He started going down this path during high school, growing up in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
What first started as “a swig of Miller High Life” during a Christmas Eve party eventually turned into sneaking prescription medication from the home of someone who recently passed, according to the Pennsylvania-based newspaper. Clark describes being easily able to get Adderall at college.
Meanwhile, he maintained his athletic prowess as a self-described “front.” Playing three sports in high school, Clark continued playing baseball in college with the intent to pursue a career in sports according to his Release Recovery biography.
Clark Used to Be Married
Before joining the cast of The Bachelorette, the 36-year-old was divorced according to Reality Steve. While not much is known about his wife, the relationship occurred during the height of his drug use.
Clark was actively abusing OxyContin leading up to his honeymoon. “I have got to leave the country for 10 days and for a guy with a serious, serious drug problem, that’s not cool,” he said during the Alvernia University forum, discussing his concerns about drug access while abroad.
The Reading Eagle would go on to describe him as “a married college graduate who was only in his 20s” when trying to con a doctor into performing gallbladder surgery or as he “descended into a depraved state of use.”
It’s unclear what impact his addictions had on his marriage, but divorce is something he will have in common with the rumored new Bachelorette Tayshia Adams.
Disclosing her previous marriage to Colton Underwood on his season of The Bachelor, fans of the franchise discovered Adams married her first boyfriend before he decided to end their marriage a year and six months later. Their relationship lasted for approximately six years.
“I was in it for the long haul,” Adams told Nick Viall on his podcast, The Viall Files. She said, “I am well aware that relationships have their hardships and you’re not always going to love that person or like that person every single day. It’s a thing you need to continuously work on.”
Clark Was Arrested for Drug Possession and Driving Under the Influence
“An eight-month drug binge in which he shot heroin intravenously, smoked crack and did ‘whippets’ – inhaling bursts of nitrous oxide for a brief high – ended with his arrest for possession of crack and driving while intoxicated,” wrote the Reading Eagle about Clark.
He credited Caron Treatment Centers, one of the organizations which organized the forum, for helping him, saying “I was proudly discharged without taking any medications.”
In 2017, he took his passion for recovery to the next level and founded Release Recovery with Justin Gurland. He said during an episode of the Surfside Recovery Podcast that he wishes addicts would understand sobriety is not a punishment, but rather it is enjoyable to experience life sober.
Though he disclosed his fears of relapse. “For whatever reason lately, you’re seeing guys of 10, 15, 20 years going back out which is scary to me, but a helpful reminder.”
It is not currently known if Clark makes it beyond the final four.