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Below Deck Sailing Yacht production member accuses Gary King of sexual misconduct, claims show covered for him

Gary King on Below Deck Sailing Yacht Season 4
Gary has been accused of acting inappropriately with a production team member. Pic credit: Bravo

The Below Deck franchise is facing new sexual misconduct allegations — this time involving Below Deck Sailing Yacht’s Gary King.

However, unlike with Below Deck Down Under, where Captain Jason Chambers, Aesha Scott, and producers were praised for their actions, Below Deck Sailing Yacht producers have been accused of covering up the alleged incident.

Production crew member Samantha Suarez worked in the hair and makeup department, as well as assisted the talent manager, on Season 4 of Below Deck Sailing Yacht.

Ahead of filming in July 2022, Samantha stayed in the same hotel as the cast to ensure they remained in their rooms to comply with COVID-19 protocols, and to keep them apart so as to make their on-screen interactions as authentic as possible.

During that time, Samantha alleges she was the victim of an incident of sexual misconduct involving Gary King. She reported it, but claims it was covered up.

Below Deck Sailing Yacht star Gary King accused of sexual misconduct

Speaking with Rolling Stone, Samantha claims that the alleged incident took place while she was in charge of getting an intoxicated Gary back to his hotel room. This reportedly came after producers supplied him with alcohol while he filmed confessional interviews.

Samantha claimed that Gary was acting erratically, screaming for the rest of the cast members outside of his balcony.

She claims that when she told him she had to leave to help other cast members, Gary suggested she get bed with him and pleaded with her several times not to leave.

She eventually left, but later returned to drop off water and snacks. When she did so, she claims Gary answered the door in his underwear. At that point, she claims he again kept asking her not to leave the room.

“I was like, ‘I have to go — I need to go bring other people water and food,’ and he’s like, ‘No, no, please.’ So I stepped into the room to set the case of waters down and again, he’s repeating, ‘Don’t leave,’ and I was like, ‘I have to go, I’m not staying,'” she told the magazine.

As she turned to leave, Samantha alleges Gary grabbed her and pressed her body against his. She claims she then elbowed and kicked him to get free, only to have Gary slam the door behind her, blocking her in the room.

“At that point, I didn’t know what was going to happen. I was freaking out,” she claimed. “It just happened so fast.”

Samantha claims a phone call from one of the talent managers eventually allowed her to get out the door, but she says Gary followed her.

“I’m freaking out and he goes, ‘What’s wrong? What’s going on?’ and I’m like, ‘Just leave me alone.’ He tried to come up behind me and put his arm around me. He’s in the hallway in his underwear and it’s all weird and f**ked up, and so I’m just like, ‘Just go back in your room and don’t come out,'” Samantha said.

Samantha says she reported the incident and had conversations with a co-executive producer, as well as executive producers Courtland Cox and Vivian Choi and the Below Deck Sailing Yacht talent manager, where she was assured Gary would get talked to and fired if another incident occurred.

Gary was removed from the hotel but remained on the show. Samantha shared that she was depressed for the rest of filming and told producers she didn’t want to work with the first officer.

Samantha Suarez accuses Below Deck Sailing Yacht of cover-up

Gary first joined Below Deck Sailing Yacht on Season 2 and remains a key cast member who brings in good ratings for the show along with Daisy Kellier and Colin MacRae.

The day after she made her claims, Samantha says King was removed from the hotel where all other cast and crew members were staying, and on subsequent days when filming wasn’t taking place he was told to sleep on the boat rather than in the hotel.

However, Samantha believes his alleged behavior was covered up. She also said that she felt her allegations were not handled appropriately, and she thinks she wasn’t asked to return to the show because she had reported her claims against Gary to the show’s production company.

“You’re an executive producer on the show and you’re not even worried that your cast member put his hands on me and is being a creep currently while being on TV? Somebody shouldn’t be able to keep a platform for being a gross creep,” she told the magazine.

Two other production team members told Rolling Stone Samantha had told them about the incident, while another made separate claims against Gary — saying he grabbed a female cast member’s behind and touched her inappropriately after she told him to stop, and also grabbed a camera operator’s genitals.

Rolling Stone reached out to Gary for a statement, but he reportedly declined to comment. Both Bravo and 51 Minds Entertainment, the production company behind Below Deck, gave statements to Rolling Stone saying they took action after Samantha made her allegations.

As Monsters and Critics previously reported, Below Deck Sailing Yacht alum Gabriela Barragan recently opened up about producers breaking the fourth wall for consent concerns.

Below Deck Sailing Yacht is currently on hiatus on Bravo. Seasons 1-4 are streaming on Peacock.

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Diane Bates
Diane Bates
10 months ago

This seems a little strange as Gary didn’t start at the beginning of the season as he had Covid