James Harris is living the glamorous life as an uber-successful real estate agent on Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles these days, but there was a time when he almost lost everything. "I was definitely an alcoholic," he revealed during a recent interview with DailyMail.com. "It's not even that I was drinking a whole lot, it was the mentality of not really caring and not having to worry about responsibility or having a business or having a wife or having children. So, others would say, of course you're not [an alcoholic] but I look at my life today versus eight years ago and I don't think I could be where I am today if I'd continued with that."
James, who is now seven years sober, said that he was determined to turn his life around when his wife Valeria became pregnant with their first child Sofia, who is now 7 years old. "Thank God, because I really didn't have the best relationship with my own father. I had two paths to kind of go down. I had Path A, which was continue the way I am and I'll end up being an absent father and someone I can't be very proud to be. Or go down Path B which was getting sober, cleaning up my act, creating a business and become a person I'm proud to be," he explained. "So I went down that path and I swear, I have never looked back and I'm so grateful everything happened the way it did."
When James first moved to L.A. 12 years ago after growing up in the London suburb of West Hampstead, he was drawn into the city's party scene. "I came out here with a vision of LA just being this incredible party place," he said. "I had zero responsibilities at that time in my life and I thought life was all about having parties, going out all night. Every night of the week I was out. Every single night of the week."
James said he doesn't struggle with not drinking when he's out socializing now, thanks to Valeria. "She's a great support for me and makes it all very easy," he said. "I love to go out, socialize and have fun. It doesn't need to be with alcohol, that's for sure."
James' business partner David Parnes also shared his struggle with sobriety last season of MDLLA (clip above). The two vowed to help get each other back on track after David admitted that their Burning Man-themed party turned out to be a triggering experience.
So now when James isn't focused on multi-million dollar real estate deals, he's all about his family, which, in addition to Valeria and Sofia, also includes 3-year-old daughter Chloe. "It's all about healthy balance, it really is," he explained. "I'm the first to admit that it's extremely hard but if I'm working until late one evening, the next evening, I'll make a point of making sure I'm home before they [the children] go to bed. I spend several hours at least with them on the weekend on both days. Whether it's spending time with them in the pool, taking them to the mall, doing something we can do as a family together. That is so important because unfortunately, these kids don't get younger so every day you have to cherish."
It looks like James is definitely cherishing family time these days.
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