During season 7 of the Bravo show, chief stew Kate Chastain and bosun Ashton Pienaar had a scary confrontation when the latter was drunk after a night out. Ashton ended up punching a window in the van that was taking the crew members home.
“I was scared but also just in shock,” Kate explained to Decider in December 2019. “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.”
Following an extremely tense season, Kate wasn’t sure there was anything she could have done to change those chain of events.
“I was working with illogical assholes. I don’t know what I could’ve done differently. I was outnumbered but also it was a very bizarre situation,” she added at the time.
After major backlash from fans about the men’s treatment of the women on board, 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 emotionally told Kate in February 2020. “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.”
For the bosun, that moment forced him to take a look at his behavior.
Kate announced her departure from the Bravo series after the explosive season wrapped in February 2021 with a funny nod to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
“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 Bravo personality wrote via Instagram, jokingly quoting the couple’s wording after they stepped down from their royal duties. “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.”
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