Adler, who starred on eight episodes of MTV’s Newport Harbor: The Real Orange County in 2007, went to the desert with friends on March 25, where the group was shooting. He turned a gun and shot himself in the head while in the middle of firing, TMZ first reported.
The reality star’s father, Frank Adler, confirmed to PEOPLE that he passed away from suicide a day later in the hospital on March 26, and no drugs or alcohol were found in his system. “He had been clean for several years,” Frank tells PEOPLE.
“We saw him every minute of every day while he was there,” Frank says of the time he spent with his son in the hospital.
“We had an amazing time with him at the hospital,” Clay’s father added.
“We are saddened by the news of Clay Adler’s passing,” MTV said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.”
Adler aspired to work in the entertainment industry, according to the OC Register. “I’m hoping (the show) will kind of jump start it. I’m interested in the whole aspect, whether it be in front of the camera or behind,” Adler said in 2007 about starring on the MTV reality series.
He also appeared in TV movie The Fish Tank (2009) and an episode of Make It or Break It (2009).
MTV REALITY STAR COMMITS SUICIDE (UPDATE)
MTV issued a statement about Clay, saying, "We are saddened by the news of Clay Adler's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time."
Reality TV star Clay Adler is dead after intentionally shooting himself during a trip to the desert with friends ... TMZ has learned.
Clay appeared on 2 seasons of the MTV reality show, "Newport Harbor: The Real Orange County." Law enforcement sources tell us Clay and his pals went shooting in the desert on March 25. In the middle of firing, we're told he turned the gun and shot himself in the head.
He died in the hospital on March 26 of the gunshot wound.
Our sources say there were no drugs or alcohol in his system, but Clay had struggled with mental illness in the past.
Clay also did some acting, and became pals with Jennifer Lawrence when they were both starting out in Hollywood.
He was an avid surfer, and friends and family honored him with a paddle out in Newport Beach last weekend. Clay was 27.
Clay Adler, Former MTV Star, Dead At 27
Clay Adler, known for appearing on two seasons of MTV’s “Newport Harbor: The Real Orange County,” has died, TMZ reports. He was 27.
According to the outlet, Adler took his own life last month. He reportedly went shooting with some friends in the desert on March 25, law enforcement officials told TMZ. While they were firing, Adler is said to have turned a gun on himself. He reportedly died March 26 in the hospital.
Sources told TMZ Adler had no drugs or alcohol in his system, but noted that he had struggled with mental health issues in the past.
“We are saddened by the news of Clay Adler’s passing,” MTV told The Huffington Post in a statement Tuesday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.”
A tribute to Adler was posted on what looks to be Allie Stockton’s Instagram page; Stockton appeared on “Newport Harbor” with Adler.
“At a loss for words and truly heartbroken. We love you so much Clay. I do hope you’re in this outfit when I see you again,” the caption reads.
Many of Adler’s friends and family members reportedly gathered at the beach this past weekend and paddled out to sea on surfboards to honor Adler, who was an avid surfer.
Adler also dabbled in acting following his time on “Newport Harbor.” He had small roles in “Make It or Break It” and the TV movie “The Fish Tank.” He also reportedly developed a friendship with Jennifer Lawrence when they were both getting their start in the industry.