If you were in high school (or just, like, existed in the world) in the early 2000s, chances are you had a not-so-healthy obsession with Laguna Beach. (It's cool, I'm right there with you.) It was pretty hard to resist all that weekly "real-life" drama played out on screen — especially the push and pull of Lauren Conrad's rocky relationship with bad-boy boyfriend Jason Whaler. But while LC's gone on to launch a fashion empire and become a household name, her former flame has remained largely out of the spotlight. So whatever happened to Jason Wahler? Turns out that the former reality star has been up to a lot in the last 10 years.
Back in his Laguna days, Wahler really held our attention for ... well, all the usual reasons bad boys do. (Plus, he was pretty cute, so there was that.) But let's be honest the entire cast was pretty captivating, for better or worse, though that's probably no big surprise. As teens and tweens during the early days of reality TV, watching the intimate lives of fellow high schoolers — who, granted, lived way more glamorous lives than we did — was seriously addicting. But despite living in beachside mansions and having access to seemingly limitless funds, the cast also managed to be pretty relatable — even Wahler, who charmed the pants off of LC and viewers alike.
So where is he now, and what is he up to?
Well, Obviously, He's Just As Handsome As Ever
Yep, it's clear that the former Laguna Beach babe, who turned 28 this year, has not let us down.
He's Sober And Proud
After The Hills, Wahler unfortunately made headlines again, but this time it was for his struggles with substance abuse, not his relationship with Conrad. In an effort to remain clean, Wahler appeared on Celebrity Rehab in 2010, which he cites with helping his sobriety. In the clip above, Wahler explains that he's been sober and proud of it since July 23, 2010. He also shared more of his story in a candid blog post he wrote for HuffPost. In it, Whaler writes,
I was in the fight for my life, but I didn't realize it. I was out drinking every night, acting recklessly and making poor decisions left and right. Eventually, just like anyone else who struggles with alcoholism, it all caught up with me.
Not Only That, But He's On A Mission To Raise Addiction Awareness
His experience has made him incredibly vocal and proactive about addiction awareness in the years since. And if you need further evidence of that, just spend a few seconds on his Twitter page. He's either tweeting, retweeting, or speaking about addiction regularly, in the hopes of helping others who also struggle with it. Wahler's Facebook page even notes that he works as an addiction advocate Origins Recovery, a rehab and treatment center.
It's true! He's been hitched for nearly two years. In 2013, Wahler wed longtime girlfriend Ashley Slack in Malibu, California.
But, That Doesn't Mean He's Not Cool With His Laguna Beach Loves
According to a Fall 2014 interview with Us Weekly, Wahler's totally zen about his past relationships. He had this to say about his high school flame, Lauren Conrad:
I don’t really talk to Lauren at all anymore, the last time we talked was probably 6 months ago or something. She’s a sweet girl, and we are just totally different personalities and she is super, super sweet. She’s very kind and good at what she does. We’re just two completely different personalities — me being full fledged in my addiction during that time, that did not help.
And when it comes to his other former Laguna girlfriend, Alex Murrel, Wahler also had some nice things to say:
I just found it funny that she got married at the same exact venue that I did. Literally at the same exact venue. And I talk to Alex, so I’m just giving her sh*t. She’s a sweet girl too. I think after 10 years have gone by from the first day it aired, a lot of us have grown up and there’s not that tension anymore and this and that BS. A lot of us are actually talking more now than we did in the past, more the Laguna Beach cast. A lot of people are local still, so, it’s been interesting to watch it kind of transform into what it has.
"Talking more," huh? So, does this mean we should hold out hope for a Laguna Beach reunion special, or ...?
OK, reunion fantasies aside, it's honestly just plain awesome to see Wahler in such a better, and more peaceful, place in life. Happiness sure looks good on him.
Image: Giphy (1)