Matthew McDonald, aka Matty from Big Brother 9, is blogging from inside a federal prison in Mass. where he is serving a three year term for distributing drugs. And his three posts so far are probably the most honest and surprising pieces of writing by a former reality TV cast member that I have ever read.
In January, Matty pled guilty to being part of a drug ring that included his season’s winner, Adam Jasinski, who was sentenced to four years in prison. Matty is now serving three years in federal prison, after which he’ll have five years of supervised release; he also has to pay a $50,000 fine.
In three blog posts, Matt is surprisingly apologetic, contrite, and honest. (The one thing he doesn’t address directly is the still-pending charges after being arrested for beating up his pregnant fiance; he only says, “I DO NOT hit women. I love women. I may have been an asshole when it came to matters of the heart, but I don’t hit–it’s just not who I am.”)
In his first post, which was published in late May and was posted by someone else (he writes that he’s “here via third party” because “I don’t have internet access, only e-mail”), Matt calls himself “one of the idiots from the show who got caught up in a large-scale drug conspiracy.” He says that while “there was NO physical evidence against me … I knew I had to look inside myself, ‘man up’, and admit what I did. It was time to start taking responsibility for my actions and stop blaming others for my wrongdoings. …I realize I have made MANY mistakes and have lacked good judgment, to say the least. I am using my time now as my opportunity to maybe reach out if only to one person.”
Matt admits that, after Big Brother, he “got so addicted to the whole ‘fast life’ after the show: money, cars, trips, women, drugs, and my then new found fame…faster than I got addicted to those pills. I never took into account where all these pills were going and whose lives I was ruining while I was making money. It sickens me to even think about it. For that, I truly apologize.”
In his second post, Matty discusses the “series of poor choices that ultimately landed me in Federal Prison”: “with all of this new found fame, came all of the perks: comped hotel rooms, free booze, parties and clubs….and being exposed to lots and lots of drugs. A lot of doors opened up for me, and on that particular Memorial Day weekend, a lot of ropes opened up in Vegas. It was the fast life…the life of a celebrity…the life I always wanted…or so I thought.”
He discusses the consequence of his fast fame on the CBS reality series: “Nobody could have prepared me for any of that madness. I was 24-years old…tossed in the deep end…way over my head…with no floaties…and sadly…I couldn’t swim. But that didn’t stop me…I wanted it all…I wanted more. In a world filled with so many people, I wanted to matter.” Matty says he was introduced to drugs and “racked up around $80,000 in debt,” and became a drug dealer and “became more of an asshole.”
Matty adds, “I am not telling my story in the hopes of getting back in the limelight. This is my way of giving back…and hoping that I may be able to reach out and help someone. I am merely trying to give you an insight into how I went from Big Brother to the Big House.”
In his most recent post, Matty repeats his apologies: “I’d like to sincerely apologize once again to my friends, and most importantly, my family…for ALL of my actions…not just the drug dealing over the years that led me to this foreign land of embarrassment and shame.”
That’s quite the contrast from, say, the reality show cast member who’s still unapologetic about using his own feces to write his name on his jail cell wall.