John Stamos on Sobriety, Divorce, and Reuniting With the Olsen Twins

Actor sits with Howard to discuss his memoir, “If You Would Have Told Me”

October 25, 2023

Actor, musician, and longtime friend of the Stern Show John Stamos stopped by the studio on Tuesday morning with a head full of impeccably coiffed hair and a heart full of hilariously endearing anecdotes, many of which appear in his new book, “If You Would Have Told Me: A Memoir.” The 60-year-old Beach Boys drummer and “Full House” star has lived a uniquely charmed life, so it’s little surprise many stories from his memoir have already made a splash in the news, including a time when he got his heart broken by a cheating girlfriend.

Stamos told Howard he had been dating actress Teri Copley when he suddenly found her in bed with another famous face: “Who’s the Boss?” star Tony Danza. But it wasn’t Tony’s face that first clued him in. “I walked in, and they were in bed together. I saw four feet coming out of the sheet,” John told Howard on Tuesday. “I was so brokenhearted.”

Teri, meanwhile, recalled things differently. She told People she and John had already split before he walked in on her with Danza.

But Stamos wasn’t so sure. “She came out and said, ‘We were broken up,’ and, uh, I don’t think she told me that,” he said with a smile.

Regardless of how it went down all those decades ago, John doesn’t harbor resentment or anger. If anything, he credited Danza’s hit show with helping his own then-fledgling series “Full House” stay on the air. “We were on the bubble, as they say,” Stamos explained, revealing that network execs didn’t start believing in his TV series until after “Who’s the Boss?” became its lead-in and the ratings improved.

“So, he fucked me over here, but without Tony I’m not sure [my] show would’ve made it past Season One,” Stamos laughed.

Why Mary-Kate and Ashley Said No to ‘Fuller House’

“Full House” and its Netflix spinoff were frequent topics of conversation on Tuesday. At one point, John even shared a story about going into a doctor’s office to give a semen sample only to turn the TV on in his room and find “Fuller House” as the first thing to watch while bringing himself to completion.

He also discussed the casting drama surrounding “Fuller House” before revealing why superstar actresses turned fashion icons Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen declined to reprise their roles.

“They weren’t acting, and I don’t think a real offer came through,” Stamos said before explaining that the famous twins were at the height of their fashion careers then and TV was probably the furthest thing from their minds. “So, I was like, ‘Okay, I get it,’” he recalled.

While the twins didn’t appear on the spinoff, they did attend their co-star Bob Saget’s funeral after the actor and comedian passed away tragically early last year.

“They came to Bob’s funeral, and it was so beautiful,” John said. “They got us all together and said, ‘We love you. We loved our childhood. We’re grateful for you guys, we thank you for making those eight years so beautiful for us. We have such fond memories,’” he continued. “And everyone just needed to hear that.”

His Relationship With Work Wife Lori Loughlin

When John’s longtime “Full House” co-star Lori Loughlin came under fire and eventually went to prison for her role in the largest college bribery scandal in American history, it came as a big surprise to him.

“The last person on ‘Full House’ you’d think would go to jail is her — it would be me first,” he told Howard.

Though the media pressed him for comment at the time, it wasn’t until writing his book that the actor publicly divulged his thoughts. “People make mistakes — some big, some small. But it’s how you deal with the accountability afterwards,” he told Howard. “The way she dealt with it was better than I could have done, for sure. She stood up and she fiercely defended her family … she nearly was broken completely but she held onto it and kept her family together and I loved her for that.”

Admitting to some romantic feelings towards his on-screen wife “in the old days,” John once pondered the idea that Loughlin was the one who got away. Now happily married to actress Caitlin McHugh, he has since changed his tune. “She still is one of the greatest friends,” Stamos revealed before adding, “I have a great life with Caitlin.”

Getting Sober

Alcoholism runs in John’s family, but the actor didn’t really examine his own relationship with substances until 2015 when he was arrested for driving under the influence.

“It’s hereditary, and if you poke at it long enough … it attacks you like a monster, and that’s what happened to me,” Stamos said of his drinking. “It was the combination of the divorce, and my dad died … and my mom died, and I just hit rock bottom.”

He recalled just how awful he felt after his D.UI. “I could have killed somebody — it just makes me sick to my stomach,” the star admitted. “Seeing myself there in handcuffs I was like, ‘That’s not the kid that my parents raised’ … I was disrespecting my childhood.”

Painful or not, Stamos told Howard he went home after his arrest and drank another bottle of wine before reporting for work on “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” in Toronto. “I don’t remember being on that set,” he confessed of his alcohol-induced fog.

When John came home from filming, his sisters and agents had already packed his bags for a rehab facility. And John didn’t fight them.

“It was great,” he said of his 30 days as an in-patient. “I have not had a drink since, eight years ago.”

Looking Back at His Divorce

John’s memoir of course touches upon his relationship with “X-Men” star Rebecca Romijn, as the two were one of Hollywood’s most beloved couples before divorcing in 2005. Stamos told Howard he once blamed Rebecca for their breakup, but after doing so much self-examination in rehab and in preparation for his new book he gained a fresh perspective.

“I hated her after we split up, and I blamed her, but after writing this book I realized it was just as much my fault,” he said, adding, “I think that she outgrew me … I didn’t work as hard as I should have at anything.”

As it turned out, the book helped him gain perspective on a lot of different matters. “Before I wrote this book I had a lot of regrets, after writing it I realized … everything was there for a reason,” he told Howard. “If I didn’t go through what I did with Rebecca, I wouldn’t have been with Caitlin — I wouldn’t know how to be.”

“If You Would Have Told Me: A Memoir” is available now.

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