Million Dollar Listing New York's Fredrik Eklund is synonymous with intensity. From dominating the real estate market in the Big Apple (and Miami and Los Angeles), the father of two was inclined to pause and reflect after a tumultuous 2020.
"It was a difficult year and a sad year," Eklund exclusively told E! News ahead of next week's MDLNY premiere. "But how it relates to my business was tricky because I had to go back and forth because I'm bicoastal...In a world where we were not even allowed to do real estate showings, we had to be creative there and push the envelope."
Eklund filmed MDLNY and sister series Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles back-to-back, but by January 1st, 2021, Eklund was ready to change his lifestyle to mark the New Year with a clean slate. "I've given up alcohol and though it's still pretty early," Eklund announced on Instagram on New Year's Day this year. "If you know me well you know it's been the one and only thing that's given me extra weight as a father, business man and health-nut for way too long."
By March 25, Eklund took to social media again to reveal the status of his sobriety, calling himself a "high-functional addict" that found freedom in sobriety. "The pressure was off in a way," Eklund captioned. "160 days later and I don't feel alone."
Now in an exclusive interview with E! News, Eklund marked another recovery milestone and opened up about his newfound happiness.
"I think I'm 190-something days today. I'm really happy and proud of myself," Eklund gushed. "It's really night and day. I feel more calm, more present, I live better, I feel better. Most importantly I'm a better father, and definitely a better businessman. It just removed a heaviness that I didn't need in my life. It hasn't been easy but it's worth it. I'm very thankful to the support. That's not an easy thing to share but I did and here we are."
Eklund also thanked MDLNY for allowing him to be his most vulnerable.
"The miscarriages, having the kids, getting married…all of these things leading up to even this season where I'm also sharing personal stuff, those are risky and very kind of scary things to share with cameras," Eklund explained. "The more I've shared, the more vulnerable I've been, the more I've grown from it. So I'm very grateful to the process, to the show, to the producers and to the network for allowing me to be me, and to learn maybe the hard way that the more 'me' I am, the more sort of love I can get. I don't hold back anymore."
Eklund and husband Derek Kaplan are parents to 3-year-old twins Milla and Frederik Jr. The family relocated to Bel-Air in 2020, and fans can catch Eklund on both MDLNY and MDLLA.
Million Dollar Listing New York premieres Thursday, May 6 at 9 p.m. on Bravo. Binge past seasons of MDLNY any time on Peacock.
(E!, Bravo and Peacock are all part of the NBCUniversal family.)