Though it was unknown at the time, Alexis Neiers and Tess Taylor — the stars of E!’s reality series Pretty Wild — were both battling addictions to opioids during their short-lived television careers. Alexis, 26, opened up exclusively to In Touch about how she and her adoptive sister, Tess, eventually got clean after filming the 2010 docuseries.
Alexis, who got sober at 19 years old and will be celebrating seven years of sobriety this coming December, told In Touch that Tess, 27, had to work extra hard to kick her debilitating drug habit. “Tess had a really hard time staying sober in LA. She had gone to many treatment centers and any time she would reach out for help, I would of course help her,” Alexis said. “But she just had a really hard time staying sober here in LA.”
Alexis (left) and Tess (right) in 2010.
Realizing that Tess’ health was suffering in SoCal, Alexis — who completed schooling to become a chemical dependency counselor in October 2011 — had a serious heart-to-heart with the former Playboy model to talk about her issues with substance abuse. “I mean, we didn’t do an intervention or anything, but I sat down with her and [addiction specialist] Bob Forrest, and I just told her that I loved her so much, that I loved her just the way that she was, whether she was addicted or not, that I was here to help her,” Alexis recounted. “I let her know that she deserved a better life.”
Luckily, Alexis’ words penetrated deep within Tess. Soon after, the brunette beauty made a life-changing decision to move to Wisconsin to live with her biological mother on their family farm. (Tess spent the majority of her childhood under the guardianship of Alexis’ mother, Andrea Arlington.) According to Alexis, Tess knew this was her only option to finally achieve sobriety.
“A couple weeks later after we spoke, Tess called me and she said, ‘I’m getting in a car and I’m driving to Wisconsin and I’m getting sober. I can’t do this anymore,’” Alexis shared with In Touch. “So I was like, ‘OK!’ And so she did, and it was the best decision she ever made because she’s been sober ever since. She’s been sober for about four and half years now.”
These days, Tess is in a loving relationship and the mother of a beautiful baby girl named River. Looking back on her wild child past with Tess, Alexis is beyond grateful that she and her sis were able to turn their lives around. “Tess and I were using anywhere between like 10 and 20 [OxyContins] a day while we were filming Pretty Wild. So it was quite a bit,” the mom-of-two — who shares young daughters Harper and Dakota with husband Evan Haines — said. “To see where we are now, it’s truly amazing. I’m so happy we made it out on the other side.”
For her part, Alexis now works as a drug and alcohol counselor at Alo House Recovery Center in Malibu, CA. She and her hubby, Evan, 42 (who co-founded the treatment facility in 2010) are focusing their efforts on advocating for and treating millennials who are victims of the current opioid crisis in the United States. For more information, check out AloRecovery.com.