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Steve-O Recalls Being a 'Cocaine-Addicted Clown'

04/21/2009 at 05:45 PM EDT

On Jackass, viewers watched him gag inside a helmet full of crickets and bob for jellyfish. On Dancing with the Stars, they watched as he danced the foxtrot and Viennese waltz. Now on a new unflinching MTV special, Steve-O: Demise and Rise, viewers will witness his longtime struggle with drugs and alcohol as well as his recent decision to sober up. PEOPLE has an exclusive clip of the program.

Even before Jackass and the spin-off Wildboyz, Steve-O, now 34, has been documenting his life on tape, including his days at the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, which led to a job at a flea-market circus. There, he says, he was a "cocaine-addicted clown," who performed "two shows on Friday, three shows on Saturday and three shows on Sunday, and typically I would do cocaine through all of it without sleeping."

Steve-O: Demise and Rise, which airs May 3 (10 p.m. ET) on MTV, also shows "extreme substance abuse, including the marathon nitrous oxide sessions, terrorizing his next door neighbor, his ill-fated attempt at being a gangsta-rapper and several infamous public displays of self-destructive behavior," according to a press release from the network.

Steve-O's story continues as he tries "to stay clean, sober and focused on making amends to those closest to him hurt by his addiction," says the release. The documentary follows the Steve-O through to his first performance on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

In 2008, Steve-O (born Stephen Glover), pleaded guilty to cocaine possession and checked in and out of a mental institution in his attempt to get well.

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