T.J. Holmes ‘walked the streets,’ slept on bench during ‘awful’ depression before Amy Robach romance

T.J. Holmes once “walked the streets” and slept on benches in New York City during an “awful” battle with depression. Jackson Lee

T.J. Holmes reflected on the “darkest” period he experienced before Amy Robach helped “save” his life.

During Monday’s episode of their “Amy & T.J.” podcast, the co-workers-turned-lovebirds talked about how their former careers as broadcast journalists for “GMA3” came at “a huge price” to their health.

Holmes recalled joining the news, health and lifestyle program with Robach in the summer of 2020, admitting that, while it was one of the peaks of his career, it was also “probably the darkest days” of his adult life.

Holmes said he began struggling with his mental health while working at “GMA3” in 2020. ajrobach/Instagram
He recalled having “thoughts of suicide” before Amy Robach helped “save” him. ajrobach/Instagram

“Thoughts of suicide, abuse of alcohol. I didn’t realize how bad off I was,” Holmes, 46, confessed, while also sharing that he was diagnosed with “moderately severe depression” in 2015.

Holmes – who was married to Marilee Fiebig at the time – admitted that he knew it was “pretty bad” when he memorized the “5.2 mile walk from my home downtown to the ABC office” on the Upper West Side in New York City.

“I would walk back and forth in the middle of the night, because I didn’t wanna go home. And I would just walk the streets,” he recalled.

“I would walk back and forth in the middle of the night, because I didn’t wanna go home. And I would just walk the streets,” he said on a June 10 episode of their ”Amy & T.J.” podcast. ajrobach/Instagram
Holmes was married to Marilee Fiebig at the time. WireImage

“I can tell you, there’s a bench on 14th Street, just west of Union Square, where I have actually slept at night. I was the best dressed homeless man you have ever seen in your life,” he said while laughing.

Holmes reiterated how that time period was “awful” for him, but going into the office to work with Robach, 51, eventually helped him get better.

“She is seeing me deteriorate, she is seeing me not get help, she is seeing me the way nobody else was, and it became an issue where I would leave home to go to the studio, but what it really felt like is I was leaving home and going home –– which was Amy Robach,” he continued.

Holmes raved about Robach’s support both as a friend and as a colleague. Getty Images
“This is not dramatic –– I credit her for literally helping save my life,” he said of Robach. ajrobach/Instagram

The broadcast journalist explained how Robach and their time on the show together helped his depression, because “she wouldn’t let me slide on anything.”

“This is not dramatic –– I credit her for literally helping save my life,” he said.

Robach took a few deep breaths before saying that he “saved [his] life,” and the whole experience resulted in them becoming “best friends” and eventually a couple.

Robach admitted that she “knew” her friend was “struggling,” so she just wanted to be there for him. ajrobach/Instagram
Robach also reflected on some of her health struggles during her career. New York Road Runners

“I knew you were struggling, and sometimes you just need a friend,” Robach said.

Meanwhile, Robach also reflected on her health journey over the years and how her job “almost killed” her. She underwent heart surgery and revealed a breast cancer diagnosis – which she said were “clearly stress” related – in a two-year timespan.

“To have heart surgery and breast cancer two years apart, working 90 hours a week with the pressure of network news, I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” she said.

Robach discussed having heart surgery and being diagnosed with breast cancer in a two-year time period. ajrobach/Instagram
The longtime broadcaster also credits her former employer for giving her a “second chance at life.” Dylan Travis/AbacaPress / SplashNews.com

However, Robach later clarified that ABC News also “saved [her] life” twice: the first in 2013 when an on-air mammogram revealed stage 2 breast cancer and the second in 2020 when they made Holmes her “GMA3” co-anchor.

“That day led me to being on this stage right here with all of you with the love of my life and gave me a second chance at life,” she said.

Robach –– who has held broadcasting jobs since 1995 –– previously admitted she does “not miss” working in the industry since being fired for her romantic relationship with Holmes in January 2023.

Robach and Holmes have previously discussed not missing the “grind” of morning TV. ajrobach/Instagram
The former co-anchors were fired in January 2023 after their relationship made headlines. ajrobach/Instagram

“I learned that I never want to go back to the grind of morning television,” she said on a January episode of their podcast.

While Holmes and Robach have expressed their happiness with their lives now, they previously got candid about their mental state after their controversial relationship made headlines in November 2022.

“There were days when I wanted to die. That was something I never experienced before in my life. I just didn’t want to get up. I didn’t want to see what new headlines were going to be out there,” Robach said in a December 2023 episode.

Robach also recalled a “dark” time Holmes faced that led her to doing a “welfare check” on him. She eventually found him “incoherent” and “splayed out” on his bed.

When their romantic relationship made headlines, it initially caused both of them to struggle mentally. TheImageDirect.com
They have since learned to live with the mixed reviews on their relationship and have been together ever since. Jackson Lee

“That day was essentially me getting off work and pounding vodka. I didn’t stop for several hours and took who knows how many weed edibles,” he admitted.

Despite the rocky start, Holmes and Robach have been going strong and are even talking about marriage.

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 988 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

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