‘He Really Saved Me’: Jenny McCarthy Opens Up About Son Evan (EXCLUSIVE)

By: / May 17, 2012

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After taking some time off to care for her ailing son, Evan, Jenny McCarthy will return to television next month to host season 2 of NBC’s reality-competition series Love in the Wild.

For awhile, the 39-year-old personality says she didn’t know if she’d work again, having lost the desire to perform after Evan, now 9, was diagnosed with autism, in 2005.

How bad did it get?

“When I was at my lowest point in my life, when my son was having seizures and cardiac arrest, I really thought I would never be able to go back [to work] and do anything funny,” McCarthy confessed. “When your kid’s sick, it’s over.”

Following her son’s diagnosis, McCarthy became invested and outspoken about the debilitating disease and her son’s subsequent healing, as she put it, all of which was documented in the 2007 book, Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism.

“Once he got better and was happy, then I started to enjoy life again,” said the actor. “People say, ‘Oh my God, you saved your son!’ But he really saved me. He brought a whole new perspective to me on what matters and what doesn’t.”

Season 2 of Love in the Wold premieres June 7 on NBC. On the show, couples compete in physical challenges for a trip around the world, and maybe fall in love along the way. McCarthy — who most recently was in a high-profile relationship with actor Jim Carrey, and is now rumored to be dating football player Brian Urlacher — said she learned a lot about dating from working with the contestants.

Her best tip: take a weekend trip with your new partner.

“If you spend a few days with somebody, you really get to see that fake self drop away a little bit,” she advised. “That helps me know whether I want to move on or keep going.”