Bravo’s Below Deck franchise is getting rocked by another sexual misconduct scandal.
Deckhand Gary King, who stars on Below Deck: Sailing Yacht, has been accused of trying to force himself on a female production staffer during filming of the just-aired Season 4, according to an explosive Rolling Stone article. Makeup artist Samantha Suarez says that when she helped a drunk King back to his hotel room, he suggested he get into bed with her and begged her not to leave, eventually grabbing her and pressing her body into his. She kicked and elbowed him to get away, but King shut his hotel room door, not allowing her to leave until she received a phone call from another staffer and managed to escape.
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Suarez’s experience was not an isolated incident, either: Other staffers tell Rolling Stone that they’ve “constantly” seen King aggressively pursuing women on set and making them uncomfortable. “He’s next-level scary with women,” one says.
King is one of the main stars of Sailing Yacht, joining the cast in Season 2 and serving as Captain Glenn’s lead deckhand ever since. Fans know him as a notorious flirt, often hooking up with his fellow cast members while drinking heavily. King offered something of a mea culpa for his behavior on Instagram, saying that Season 4 “was not my best… I know that I have a lot of work and growing to do and will do everything to be a better person.” But he did not directly address the incident with Suarez.
A Bravo spokesperson said in a statement: “Bravo is committed to maintaining a safe and respectful workplace for cast and crew on our reality shows. We require our third-party production companies to have appropriate workplace policies and trainings in place and a clear process on how to report concerns. The concerns Ms. Suarez raised in July 2022 were investigated at that time, and action was taken based on the findings.” (The network, however, did not detail what actions were taken following the investigation.)
This follows an incident earlier this month on Below Deck: Down Under where cast members Luke Jones and Laura Bileskalne were both fired after making unwanted sexual advances. (Jones got naked and climbed into the bed of fellow crew member Margot Sisson while she was unconscious, and Bileskalne also climbed into the bunk of deckhand Adam Kodra and was asked to leave.) Ship captain Jason Chambers dismissed both of them mid-season for their behavior, and Sisson thanked him for his support.
“There are unfortunately a lot of captains who would choose to sweep something like this under the rug,” she wrote. “I am grateful that Jason is not one of them. Thank you for repeatedly making me feel safe and supported. I wish every captain were just like you.”
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