For over eight years, viewers have tuned into TLC's My 600-lb Life to follow the outrageous weight loss journeys of the morbidly obese. But perhaps no one added an element of drama in the way that season 5's Steven Assanti did. Once tipping the scales at almost 800 pounds, he appeared on the series alongside his brother Justin in 2017. Many were appalled by his abrasive personality, and some even found themselves in the rare position of rooting against him.
Find out what happened to Steven Assanti during his time on the show and after it wrapped. You may be surprised by the answer.
Steven John Assanti is a reality TV alum who was featured on the final two episodes of the fifth season of TLC's My-600 lb Life with his brother Justin. Prior to his appearance on the program, Steven drew attention as a 2007 guest on Dr. Phil's House of Hatred. He also attempted to capitalize on his almost 800-pound frame with a series of bizarre YouTube videos.
But he drew the attention of TLC execs when he appeared on a 2015 local news broadcast. In it, it was reported that he was kicked out of a hospital for violating gastric bypass prep and ordering a pizza. He was cast on My 600-lb Life shortly after.
Steven was born on December 2, 1981. He and his younger brother Justin were born to an alcoholic mother who separated from their father when the boys were 11 and 5. The children originally moved in with their mother, but sadly the boys suffered abuse at the hands of her new boyfriend. To cope with the chaos, Steven and Justin both turned to binge-eating.
"Steven was very greedy," Justin explained on My 600-lb Life. "And every time there was food around, before I could eat it he would have already gobbled it down."
"Food was my comfort through good and bad situations," Steven admitted. "But it didn't help with some of the sh-t that was going on. I was still very upset."
For more details on the brothers' background check out the full clip from the show:
From the moment viewers were introduced to Steven, they were put off by his personality. He refused to adhere to a prescribed eating plan and often threw tantrums. Even Dr. Nowzaradan was driven to the point of madness and threatened to drop Steven off at a homeless shelter. Steven also developed an addiction to painkillers, which forced the doctor to kick him off the show and send him to rehab.
So it should come as no surprise that Steven also got under his family's skin. He and Justin were always at odds, and their father only enabled his elder son's terrible behavior. Take this incident where Steven demands that his father feed him every two hours as they drive halfway across the country to get him help:
Even if Steven's father went to great lengths to help Steven, Justin had a lower tolerance for his brother's antics. In a tense segment on the show, Justin revealed that he can't stand to be around his brother after the many years he was abused by him.
And it appears that not much has changed. In a 2018 AMA on Reddit, Justin writes, "Steven has always been a little messed up in the head, but it had gotten worse the older he got. As far back as I could remember he was like this even before his mother abandoned him."
The brothers have also appeared in three follow-ups on the show's sister series Where Are They Now?, with part five titled "Steven and Justin Assanti The Final Chapter" airing in May 2020. In the episode, the pair's father tried to reunite his sons by scheduling their doctor's appointment at the same time, yet it proved to be nothing more than wishful thinking. The brother's issues clearly persisted, and they gladly went back their separate ways.
As revealed on Where Are They Now?, Steven did eventually get weight loss surgery, though as expected, it was a rocky road filled with cheat meals, tantrums, and even a painkiller addiction. Despite all that, Steven, who originally weighed over 700 lbs, said in the episode that aired in May 2020 that his weight was down to 518 lbs, though Dr. Now estimated his actual weight was much higher.
As for his personal life, in 2018 Steven married massage therapist Stephanie Sanger. She agreed to an interview with the website Starcasm the same year, but the writer discovered at the end of the chat that Steven has been providing all of the answers himself.
"I was trying to find him because the moment I saw him on TV I thought he was a beautiful person," Steven wrote under the guise of being Stephanie. "And I wanted to know him not because of TV but because I knew he was my soulmate. I felt it and I just had to find him."
Taking his last name, Stephanie Assanti's Facebook page shows her status as "Married" as of this writing, with her profile URL reading "stephanie.stevenmylove." That said, her last public post featuring a profile image of the pair was from March 31, 2019, and was changed to an image of just herself 11 days later.
Steven doesn't have much of a social media presence, so besides claiming he was the one to start a lot of the arguments in the marriage while on "Steven and Justin Assanti The Final Chapter," it's hard to gauge how his life is going.
All we can hope is that Steven continues on in his journey to get healthy and finding happiness and stability in his life.