Content warning: This article deals with claims of sexual assault and emotional abuse.
“Below Deck Down Under” Captain Jason Chambers has spoken out about the dismissal of crew members Luke Jones and Laura Bileskalne following two troubling incidents of sexual misconduct.
Posting a video to Instagram, Chambers, 50, expressed his hopes for the individuals’ personal growth post-firing.
“Hi everybody, I’m sure you’re digesting episodes six and seven as I am,” Chambers said in the clip. “I’ve had a flood of messages over the last 24 hours from people in similar situations, some not so lucky of the outcome, so my heart goes out to them.”
“I like to thank the production team for breaking the fourth wall and stepping in. Then reforming and allowing Aesha [Scott] to come to me in an authentic manner and us dealing with it as we would as captain and crew.”
Two Crew Members Fired Over Sexual Misconduct
The events leading to the dismissals of Luke Jones and Laura Bileskalne were indeed disconcerting. In episodes six and seven of the show’s second season, Luke stumbled into Margot’s cabin and climbed into her bed completely naked while she was passed out, before the camera crew forced him to leave. Meanwhile, Laura was making moves on an uncomfortable Adam Kodra in the hot tub, before attempting to give him a massage in his bunk. Both crew members were terminated from the reality series.
In an earlier interview with POPSUGAR Australia, Chambers said that in his role as the Captain, he doesn’t see a lot of what happens below. He said: “Unless it’s in front of me, I wouldn’t know, and I don’t know unless someone comes and snitches.”
Related: Captain Jason on What Makes “Below Deck Down Under” Season 2 So “Real” and “Unique”
Thankfully, Aesha came knocking on Jason’s door as soon as the incidents happened.
“And as soon as Aesha brought it to my attention, I addressed it straight away,” he said in the video. “This happened over a year ago and again I’ll stress the people involved are all, hopefully, on a better journey to better themselves.”
He concluded by urging fans to send “less hate please, more love” in response to the episodes.
Fans “Thankful” For Jason and Aesha’s Swift Response
Captain Jason just leapt to best #BelowDeck captain in my book. He swiftly dealt with two disgusting predators. He believed and protected his crew that felt violated and vulnerable. May we all be as bold and just in our leadership! #BelowDeckDownUnder pic.twitter.com/uWSyCeltUk
— 90 Day Bebe (@CutItOntheBias) August 9, 2023
Aesha is a fan favourite & truly the MVP of every Below Deck season she’s on. She is an amazing friend & supporter of women. Thank you Aesha. #BelowDeckDownUnder pic.twitter.com/dLCI4nKBWN
— Paul 💋💄 (@PaulStans1) August 8, 2023
Captain Jason remains the best Below Deck captain 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 he took no hesitation in protecting his crew and showed how it should always be done#BelowDeckDownUnder pic.twitter.com/l98MEuT59r
— Reality Snob (@realitysnob) August 9, 2023
Fascinating and ghastly episode of BELOW DECK: DOWN UNDER in which there are two sexual assaults among the crew in the same number of minutes: both require the intervention of the producers. The only good: the captain and chief stew handle both with great speed and clarity. pic.twitter.com/lYUG6QYpc5
— Robert King (@RKing618) August 9, 2023
Below Deck Down Under has me in tears. Why is it so hard to be a woman? Even when a man fucks up, we take on the blame and think of how we could have behaved differently or “better.” Thankful for people like Aesha and Captain Jason.
— Danielle Peterson (@danyellpeterson) August 8, 2023
Aesha and Captain Jason are the BEST people on Below Deck. I’m glad the situation was handled the way it was by them and the producers. I felt physically sick. Women should be allowed to get drunk and feel safe in their own bed!!!! Also fuck Laura!!!!! #BelowDeckDownUnder
— Becka (Taylor’s version) 🧣🌙 (@BeckaLouise21) August 8, 2023
Stream “Below Deck Down Under” Season 2 on Hayu, ad-free with episodes dropping the same day as US.
If this article brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) — the National Sexual Assault, domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service.
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