On Friday, Stephen became the fourth contestant to voluntarily leave the show, and in a clip of his exit interview, released exclusively to Access Hollywood, Stephen said he quit the show on Friday due to medical necessity.
“I had been at an insect bite count number of over 125, which induced an allergic reaction that I’ve never had before, and it was quite severe,” Stephen said in his exit clip. “[It had gotten] to a point where one of the evenings I almost stopped breathing and they almost had to hit me with an EpiPen.”
Stephen said a host of other factors added to his medical worries and helped send him packing from the jungle.
“Once I had done what I needed to do medically, to try to get that under control, it had just weakened me so much,” he said. “That, coupled with the lack of sleep and the weight loss from not eating as much as normal, it just got me to a place where I just didn’t feel like I was at the place and the performance level that I needed to be to finish and really win it all.”
The former “Bio-Dome” actor had been considered the frontrunner to win the competition by many including Janice Dickinson, but Stephen claims his health was his first priority.
“I could have hung around, but I don’t think it really would’ve been achieving the goal that I set out to achieve. I just thought it was in my best interest to take the remaining five days and back away as humbly and respectively as I could, and as honorably as I could and get myself healthy again,” he said. “It was really more for health reasons than anything else.
Although Stephen is now out of the jungle, he did manage to pick up some souvenirs from his stay.
“I have two insect bites, which you can see, this little patch on my arm here [points at arm] is a patch that will suffocate the fly larva that is under my flesh, where some baby fly’s are incubating right now,” he explained.
Stephen will return for the action packed live finale of “I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!” this Thursday June 25, 2009 on NBC.