Designer Nate Berkus says he stayed
home for months after losing his boyfriend in a tsunami.
Berkus, who became the first openly gay
man to host a nationally syndicated show with the premiere of The
Nate Berkus Show, has a new line of home products sold
exclusively at Target.
The 41-year-old Berkus also has a new
book to pitch, The Things That Matter.
an appearance on Dr.
Oz, Berkus discussed the 2004 death of his partner,
photographer Fernando Bengoechea, while vacationing in Sri Lanka.
Bengoechea is presumed dead from a tsunami that hit the island
country. Berkus miraculously survived.
“What everybody didn't see at that
time was that I stayed home for about 4 months,” Berkus told Dr.
Oz. “And I had a grief counselor come and talk to me, because I
wasn't eating, I was smoking.”
Berkus added that he survived off
chocolate chip cookies for 3 months.
“The house was filled with all this
food [from well wishers] – I wasn't interested in it. I really
wasn't sleeping. I felt grateful if I had maybe 3 hours of sleep in
a row. And I really didn't get out of bed.”
“It was really hard for me,” he
said. “It took 5, 6 months and then I was ready to slowly sort of
go out and live my life again.”