The drama isn’t over. Below Deck Sailing Yacht‘s Dani Soares and Jean-Luc Cerza-Lanaux‘s relationship and paternity woes may have publicly wrapped up — but their former boss Captain Glenn Shephard detailed what he has heard about the exes and coparents offscreen.
“I know that [Jean-Luc] has some involvement now with [his and Dani’s] baby. I heard that he’s setting up a college fund and that he talks to her regularly on zoom because they’re far apart,” Shephard exclusively told Us Weekly at the NBCUniversal Upfront on Monday, May 16. “[Dani is] in Australia and his boat is in the states. He has to keep working obviously and I don’t think he can go to Australia and start a job.”
The captain noted that most of the details came from secondhand information, adding, “I was asking someone what’s his involvement because it’s been a while. Personally, I think he should do more. But I don’t know all the details. I’m not that close with them so I can’t really speak to it.”
Soares and Cerza-Lanaux formed an onscreen connection when they both joined season 2 of the hit Bravo series. Shortly after viewers saw the couple end the season together, the second stew revealed that that she was expecting a child. During the reunion, Soares claimed that her former costar was the father.
“Let’s put it this way, This baby was made during the season while we had cameras 24/7 with us and I only slept with one guy,” she said in June 2021. “He hasn’t supported me at all in any way. He thinks it is not his child and he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it.”
Cerza-Lanaux, for his part, explained in a separate reunion appearance that he wanted a DNA test to confirm the paternity before getting involved. “I want to be there for you,” he explained while recording a message for his ex. “Though you may not want anything to do with me because of me asking you for a paternity test, that’s something that I can get over. But what I can’t get over if this is my child is not being there for her.”
The deckhand admitted that he wanted to work through his issues with Soares. “Dani, what we had on the show for me was real. I don’t care what anybody says, even now that we’re going through what we are going through. What I felt for you, and the time that we had, was genuine. Everything that I ever said to you was true,” he continued while getting visually emotional. “The fact that we are at where we are now, I am really sorry and I would assume to say that most of it is my fault.”
Seven months after Soares welcomed her little one, Cerza-Lanaux confirmed that he was the father of their daughter. “I’m happy and proud to say sweet and beautiful Lilly Rose is my daughter,” he wrote via Instagram in January. “Dani and I have been working and communicating together to the best of our ability. This is imperative [to work out] for the sake of our daughter as she needs both parents in her life.”
At the time, Soares told Us in a statement that “actions speak louder than words” in response to Cerza-Lanaux’s post.
According to Shephard, his past experience with crew members hasn’t swayed his point of view on boatmances.
“It’s hard to manage because some boats don’t want to have anything to do with romance at all. I don’t think that’s realistic because it’s gonna go on anyway. They’re gonna hide it and stuff like that,” he told Us on Monday. “As long as they’re discreet, especially [in front of] the guests and in front of the crew, then great. But we don’t want any couples to bring their fights and issues into the crew mess because that really disturbs the vibe on the boat. As long as they deal with that correctly, then I’m kind of hands off until it gets out of hand.”
Below Deck Sailing Yacht airs on Bravo Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
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With reporting by Diana Cooper
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