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YouTube ‘primal living’ guru Liver King, who built a $100m fitness empire, admits he’s actually on steroids

Can living on a diet of raw meat and leading a “caveman” lifestyle really make you as ripped as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? Probably not without steroids, it turns out.

An internet-famous ‘primal living’ guru, called Liver King, falsely convinced his millions of followers across YouTube, TikTok and Instagram that his jacked physique was down to his unusual eating habits and rigorous fitness regime alone.

The “ancestral” lifestyle that he and his wife supposedly followed was intended to achieve “strength, health and happiness” and included living according to the “nine ancestral tenants'': to eat, sleep, move, shine, connect, cold, sun, fight, and bond. He ate raw liver, bone marrow and even bull testicles.

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Social media aside, Liver King has already been making $100 million a year selling protein supplements and dried animal organs under his brands ‘Heart & Soil’ and ‘Ancestral Supplements’ - his shop charges $30 to $65 a bottle for capsules containing grass-fed beef liver.

The 45-year-old, whose real name is Brian Johnson, previously denied any accusations of steroid-use, having said on Mark Bell’s Power Project Podcast: “I don't touch the stuff. I've never done the stuff. I'm not going to do the stuff."

Johnson’s facade, however, has now dramatically dropped. In a video uploaded to his YouTube he revealed: "I lied, and I misled a lot of people…Yes, I've done steroids, and yes, I am on steroids, monitored and managed by a trained hormone clinician."

The influencer admitted that he’s been taking 120mg of testosterone per week, and apologized for misleading his followers and claiming that he really was “all-natural.”

Prior to his confession, Johnson was called out by another YouTuber called More Plates More Dates, who published an hour-long video exposing the influencer’s use of steroids, costing him $12,000 per month.

It included a leaked email from Johnson to a nutritionist confirming his steroid use and asking for more, and the results of a blood test.

Why did Liver King lie?

Johnson blamed his actions on his insecurities: "When I talk about the 85 percent of the population that suffers from self-esteem issues, that's me. I'm part of that statistic.”

The persona, he said, was “an experiment to spread the message [and] to bring awareness to the 4,000 people a day who kill themselves, the 80,000 people a day that try to kill themselves,” adding that his “fight” was to promote “ancestral living” as a solution.

Johnson also confessed that he wasn’t fully aware of the consequences, saying: “Before social media I was rich and anonymous, and after social media, I'm still rich but no longer anonymous…I never expected this kind of exposure in the public eye.”

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

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