03/18/2015 11:47 EDT | Updated 03/19/2015 08:59 EDT

Robert Herjavec, Ex-'Dragon,' Considered Suicide After Marriage Breakdown

After ex-"Dragons' Den" dragonRobert Herjavec and his wife Diane Plese split up, he found himself on a Toronto hotel balcony with some dark thoughts.

"I just wanted to end it," the 51-year-old "Dancing With The Stars" and "Shark Tank" participant told People magazine. "It's been a terribly difficult year. We were great parents and a great team, but over time we drifted apart."

It was incredibly hard for Herjavec post-separation, since his three children didn't speak to him. "Everyone has their kryptonite. For me, it was my kids. It took me to a place I never thought I would go."

The couple split after 24 years together.

Fortunately for Herjavec, his pastor steered him to Union Gospel Mission, a homeless shelter in Seattle. He volunteered in the kitchen, and "people thought I was a recovering addict," he told People.

Seeing the "suffering and hopelessness" of others helped him move past his own pain. He worked with the shelter for almost three weeks, even going out on late-night "search and rescue missions."

"I was hollow and broken," he says. "And these people saved my life."

Now, Herjavec is gearing up for a whole new challenge: participating in Season 20 of "DWTS." After the premiere, the internet was abuzz about the newly single Herjavec and his dancing partner, Kym Johnson. Rumours swirled that the couple was secretly dating.

So far, he's denying it. "The entire cast and crew of 'Dancing With The Stars' is evolving into an extended family and is incredibly supportive," said Herjavec. "Kym has become a great friend, and it is so much fun to be able to share this experience with her."

Are you in a crisis? If you need help, contact your local crisis centre. If you know someone who may be having thoughts of suicide, visit to learn how to talk about suicide with the person you're worried about.

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