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'90210' Star Michael Steger Opens Up About Childhood Bullying: 'You Feel Like You're Going To Die' (EXCLUSIVE)

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On the CW's hit series "90210," (Tuesdays, 8/7c), Michael Steger plays Navid Shirazi, a rich and confident college student who dates gorgeous girls like Jessica Stroup and Jessica Lowndes, and drives beautiful cars like this Lamborghini.

But in real life, Michael hasn't always been as cool and confident as his character, Navid. When he was growing up in Southern California, Steger says his peers in school bullied and tormented him on a daily basis.

"Childhood bullying was a big part of my life," reveals Steger, who recently directed and produced a one-woman show called "Brandee Built on Crazee."

The show, which starrred his wife, actress Brandee Tucker, chronicled the life of a six-year-old girl up until her teenage years.

"It's very autobiographical with an exagerrated comedic twist," explains Steger. "It deals with childhood bullies, and what it's like to fit in, and it's very moving," he said

The 31-year-old part-Ecuadorian actor says the play proved cathartic for victims of bullying and helped them cope with the stigma that comes with being picked on.

"I think a lot of people live with it for a long period of time," says Steger. "The one response we got from the show was 'oh my God, I experienced the exact same thing.' People just related so much to that experience and I feel like it was a good catharsis for a lot of people."

Steger told The Huffington Post about the first time he was bullied. "I moved in fourth grade in the middle of the school year, and I was the new kid in school," he remembers. "Some girl came up to me and was like 'hey, you're cute. Want to be my boyfriend?' and I was like, 'sure,'" {Laughs}. Steger says the boys in his class didn't take too kindly to his way with the ladies. "I think I ruffled some feathers and pissed some people off and from that day on, the guys were NOT having me," he remembers. "From fourth grade to sixth grade, it was me running from this one kid."

"That was the start of it," Steger adds. "And of course they find other reasons to pick on you. It all comes from a place of insecurity, I guess."

To overcome the bullying, Steger says he got heavy into martial arts. "I joined a Tae Kwon Do studio right away," he says. But that wasn't enough. The bullying got so bad that Steger's parents had to switch him out of his school district. "My parents went down to the school, and had me transferred out," says Steger. "They really had to confront a lot of the school, the teachers and all of that, and it's sad because it's a really hard process to get a kid transferred out of school when they're dealing with childhood bullies. Thankfully they finally were able to transfer me out, but it was a very exhausting process. I eventually switched school districts."

Steger says the constant tormenting and bullying he experienced as a kid made him fear for his life. "I think when your imagination goes to work and when you're first bullied, you feel like you're going to die," he says. "School becomes a war zone, and you can't function. You get paranoid and I just couldn't cope. That's why I feel bad for kids who are actually dealing with even the minor child bullying issues, because you really can't focus on schoolwork because you're just so concentrated on getting your ass kicked. So it's actually scary. I feel for any kid that's going through that," he says.

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90210 | Series on the CW Network | Official Site

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