Who are Assanti Brothers?
Steven and Justin Assanti came into prominence for being some of, if not the most controversial participants of the TLC TV’s reality series “My 600-lb Life”. The Assanti brothers, primarily Steven, will stay remembered for temperamental behavior, frequent outbursts of anger, as well as cheating on a diet and not following the medical staff’s instructions.
They suffered a tough childhood – born in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, the brothers were raised by a single mother who was an alcoholic, and abandoned by their father when they were still little children. Both of the brothers – the older one Steven born probably in 1984, and the younger Justin who was born around 1990, developed an eating addiction while being teenagers, which caused them to eventually become morbidly obese people.
Prior to becoming a star of the show, controversial as he is, Steven caught the public eye’s attention in 2012 for his viral rants on social media networks, in which he spoke about how taxpayers’ money allegedly contributes to his lifestyle.
“My 600-lb Life”
In 2017 the Assantis were approached by the crew of the TV reality show “My 600-lb Life”, which follows the lives of dangerously obese people, weighing at least 600 lbs (270 kg), through a period of one year, documenting their efforts as well as their journey on the path to weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.
Patients are under constant supervision of the Iranian-born American surgeon Dr. Younan Nowzaradan, popularly nicknamed Dr. Now. After the first year of their journey, participants are featured in the spin-off sequel TV show named “Where Are They Now”, on which the audience can be presented with the participants’ final results.
The Assanti brothers debuted on the show in the 13th episode of its fifth season, simply entitled “Steven and Justin’s Story Part 1” which premiered on the TLC on the 29th March 2017.
It was seen by almost 1.4 million viewers in the US alone, and was followed by an episode called “Steven and Justin’s Story Part 2” that was shown just a couple of days later on the 5th April, that gathered more than 1.7 million people.
At the beginning of the show, Steven weighed over 730lbs (330kgs), while Justin was slightly over 600lbs (270 kgs). Due to their problematic behavior, primarily caused by Steven, the brothers were tagged as ‘the closest that fans of “My 600-lb Life” will get to a soap opera’.
Some of Steven Assanti’s ‘escapades‘ included manipulative, erratic and often rude behavior aimed towards medical staff, and even purposely throwing a full jar of urine onto the hospital’s floor, among plenty of others. He even bullied his younger brother, and went on to steal some of his painkillers to comfort himself. Eventually, Steven was thrown out of the hospital, and was forced to live in a van in front of his apartment, because he was unable to climb up to his second floor apartment. With a habit of eating up to six pizzas on a daily basis, he even gained some weight, topping at 750lbs (340kgs) and was then sent to rehab.
After making Dr. Now lose his temper causing him to confront himself, Steven calmed down and eventually lost over 70lbs (35 kg) which qualified him for gastric bypass surgery.
The calmer of the Assanti brothers‘ duo, Justin, did not attract as much publicity as his older brother, even though he quit the program half-way and left the hospital. However, seeing the results of his brother’s surgical procedure causing his weight to significantly drop, Justin returned to the program, followed Dr. Now’s diet and medical advice, and later had a gastric bypass himself.
“Where Are They Now”
Part 3 of the Assanti brothers‘ 600-lb life journey was emitted on the 3rd January 2018 as the first episode of the fourth season of “Where Are They Now”, while the fourth and the final part was shown almost year and a half later, on the 22nd May 2019, as episode one of the show’s fifth season.
Justin, has lost over 200lbs (90 kg) in total, and has kept his life quite secretive and far from the media. However, in May 2019, he ‘broke his silence‘ and on his Reddit account revealed some of the show’s behind-the-camera secrets, claiming also that it was almost all scripted. After allegedly being blackmailed by the producers, only a couple of hours later he deleted his post. Additionally, he publicly disclosed that due to their frequent feuds, he is no longer in close touch with his brother.
Speaking of their wealth, as of mid-2020, it has been estimated that Steven’s and Justin’s net worth each, figures around sum of $100,000, largely collected from their TV appearances.