“It would take a lot of money. I would take a page out of Ben [Robinson]‘s book,” Kate, 38, exclusively told Us Weekly about a potential return. “There was a couple of seasons where he would come in as the save the day guy for, like, one, maybe two [episodes]. That’s the only way I would ever consider it.”
The former chief stew admitted that watching the Below Deck franchise shows while offering her commentary on Below Deck Gallery Talks has become the best of both worlds for her.
“It is ideal. I gotta say I’m really enjoying the show. I see why people like it so much and I like it even better sitting on a couch, drinking a glass of wine. This is, like, the best way to watch Below Deck,” she noted to Us.
After six seasons on the Bravo reality show, Kate announced her plans to move on in February 2020.
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, I have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new land based role,” the reality star wrote via Instagram at the time. “I intend to step back as a senior member of the Below Deck Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support His Majesty Andy Cohen.”
The post took a fun approach by mirroring the language that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle used when they announced their plans to step back from their royal duties one month prior.
Kate previously mentioned that she was nearing the end of her time on Below Deck after an argument with Ashton Pienaar escalated to a scary place. Fans saw a crew night out take a bad turn when a miscommunication caused the bosun to punch a window in the van that was taking everyone back to the boat.
“I was scared but also just in shock,” Kate explained to Decider in December 2019 after the season 7 episode aired. “I was in a place where I could not have escaped if I wanted to. I played possum, just froze and held still. Why is [Ashton] so mad right now? Why is he punching windows? Why is everybody screaming stop the van? What’s he gonna do? What is happening? It all kinda happened really fast.”
The following month, Kate discussed the fear she felt when Ashton’s behavior in the van made her decide to leave the boat for the night.
“I just have learned the hard way, unfortunately, that when somebody gets violent, it’s better just to remove yourself from the situation because you don’t know if they’re gonna get worse,” she clarified during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in January 2020.
The Below Deck alum also discussed her decision not to let Captain Lee know the extent of what happened when she returned the next morning.
“I already felt like the crew was accusing me of getting preferential treatment — which I don’t, I work very hard — so I felt like if I told Captain Lee what Ashton did, he would have fired him,” she noted. “And then they would have turned it around and been like, ‘Oh, Kate got Ashton fired.’ So it wasn’t really in anyone’s benefit.”
That same month, Harold Lee Rosbach weighed in on the situation and whether he would work with Ashton again after finally seeing what unfolded in the episode.
“I wouldn’t give him another chance,” the captain said on The Jenny McCarthy Show in January 2020. “I don’t get that feeling of sincerity for him or any remorse at all. It’s just not there, and I’m generally a pretty good judge of that.”
Following major backlash from fans about how the men treated the women throughout the entire season, Ashton apologized for his behavior during the Below Deck reunion.
“I was completely drunk, I was out of my mind, I’m sorry for that,” Ashton addressed Kate in the February 2020 episode. “I hate the fact that everything has been spun the way it is. But you know what, I have to take responsibility for that because I’m the one that behaved the way I did.”
At the time, Ashton revealed that seeing how he acted towards Kate on the show made him reconsider his own behavior.
“I’m making serious changes in my life because I’m not proud of the person I saw on camera that night. And I am extremely sorry. I have amazing relationships with all the women in my life,” he added during the reunion. “The way everything has turned out and the way everything has turned out in the real world now and the labels I’m being labeled with, I’m extremely ashamed of.”
Below Deck Mediterranean airs on Bravo Mondays at 9 p.m. ET with new episodes dropping one week early on Peacock. Below Deck Galley Talks airs on Bravo Fridays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Mandie DeCamp
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