Rob Lowe says infamous 1988 sex tape was a blessing: 'It got me sober'

More than 30 years ago, Rob Lowe's reputation was in the gutter — and he's better for it.

Reflecting on the infamous 1988 sex tape that ground his career to a halt, Lowe said on SiriusXM's "The Jess Cagle Show" that the controversy was "one of the reasons I got sober. I woke up one day and was like, 'What am I doing with my life?' 29 years in."

Lowe was 24 when he videotaped himself having sex with a 16-year-old girl, a decision he now acknowledges was fueled by "fame, money and drugs." The two had reportedly met inside an over-21 nightclub.

"I think it’s the best thing that ever happened to me," he said. "Honestly, I do, because it got me sober."

He continued, "Sober got me married. I’ve been married 29 years and I have two great sons, so I don’t think any of that happens without going through that scandal."

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Rob Lowe and his wife in the 1990s
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Rob Lowe and his wife in the 1990s
Rob Lowe and Sheryl Berkoff during 1st Annual Movie Awards at Universal Ampitheater in Universal City, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Sheryl Berkoff and Rob Lowe during "True Lies" Los Angeles Premiere at Mann's Village Theater in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 2: Actor Rob Lowe and his wife Sheryl Berkoff attend the 1992 Carousel of Hope Ball to Benefit the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes on October 2, 1992 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Davis/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 13: Actor Rob Lowe and girlfriend Sheryl Berkoff attend the "Wild at Heart" Universal City Premiere on August 13, 1990 at the Cineplex Odeon Universal City Cinemas in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Rob Lowe and Sheryl Berkoff during "Frankie and Johnny" Los Angeles Premiere at Academy Theater in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Rob Lowe and Sheryl Berkoff during "Little Man Tate" Los Angeles Premiere at Mann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - AUGUST 3: Actor Rob Lowe and wife Sheryl Berkoff attend "An Evening at the Net" Benefit for Revlon/UCLA Women's Cancer Research Program to Kick-Off the 66th Annual ATP Los Angeles Open on August 3, 1992 at the Los Angeles Tennis Club, UCLA in Westwood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
CENTURY CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Actor Rob Lowe and wife Sheryl Berkoff attend "A Night to Fight Diabetes" Special Benefit Preview Musical Performance of "Sunset Boulevard" on November 30, 1993 at the Shubert Theatre in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Rob Lowe & wife Sheryl Berkoff (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
Rob Lowe and Sheryl Berkoff during "Tommy Boy" Los Angeles Premiere at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
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Lowe has, indeed, been sober for three decades. He married Sheryl Berkoff in 1991, and two years later they welcomed their first son, Edward. Two years after that, they had their second son, John.

It would take some time before Lowe would really return to prominence, but his roles in "The West Wing" and "Parks and Recreation" eventually made him as much a household name as he was in the mid-'80s.

Now 55, Lowe is a vocal advocate for healthy living, telling AOL in a 2018 interview that he sticks to a low-carb nutrition plan (although he doesn't turn down pizza when when he's in New York City).

"You have to think of it as a lifestyle, because diets come and go," he said.

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Rob Lowe on Instagram
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Rob Lowe on Instagram
Getting ready! Mental Samurai is TONIGHT 9/8 central on @foxtv
Celebrating my #birthday with a #workout and @johnnylowe Whatever your age, be your best! #men #results @profile4men
Comfy.
Me and the boys getting at it last weekend. #karaoke #rock
Golf buddies.
Bonding. #dad #son #ocean
Merry #Christmas from our #family to yours! May your be blessed in the New Year.
Nothing is possible without #family #hollywoodwalkoffame #happy
Home.
At the #Duke game with the birthday boy! Go Matthew. Go Blue Devils. #football
A boy and his (brother's) dog. #Man #BestFriend
The Lowe boys take Hawaii! No fish is safe, no wave is too gnarly. It's on.
Nothing better than having the #boys back home for #summer. Can't believe I got them off the couch for a hike!
#birthday #vegas 21 and done!!
Repping for The Sheriff. #superbowl
Break in the action on set today. #WildBill
Cheers to an awesome holiday! Can't wait to head home to the newest addition to our family - Young Jack! Show me how you brought your dad-game this holiday season for your kids using #DadLife! @CocaCocaLife #Sponsored
New year, same ugly faces 😏 #happynewyears
The Lowe boys in the wilds of Hawaii. #adventure
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