How Did Kate Chastain From ‘Below Deck’ Respond to Ashton Pienaar’s Private Apology?

Although Ashton Pienaar from Below Deck issued a public apology on his Instagram story, did he ever apologize in person or directly to Kate Chastain?

Pienaar viciously attacked Chastain during a van ride back to the boat after a night of drinking. First Pienaar tried to kiss Chastain for the third time, but then suddenly became violent when she inquired about his mother. The crew joked about deckhand Tanner Sterback’s mother. So Chastain asked about Pienaar’s mother. It only took a second and Pienaar was lunging into the backseat to get to Chastain.

Ashton Pienaar, Tanner Sterback
Ashton Pienaar, Tanner Sterback | Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

He became so enraged he punched the interior of the van door. Chef Kevin Dobson, who was sitting next to Pienaar urged the driver to pull the van over, likely worried Pienaar could physically injure Chastain. Although the crew safely makes it back to the boat, another altercation fires up in the crew mess. Chastain becomes so upset she announces that she’s quitting and storms off the boat into the night.

Did he ever reach out to Chastain?

Pienaar shared on Colin Macy-O’Toole’s podcast, Radio Check that he sent a direct message on Instagram to Chastain before the season began. Pienaar admitted he didn’t completely remember what had happened until the trailer aired. He also told Macy-O’Toole he was so drunk in the van, he didn’t remember trying to kiss Chastain too.

He shared the message he sent to Chastain, plus her response. His message began with a greeting and ended with an apology. “Hey, Kate! After seeing the trailer yesterday, I just wanted to apologize. I didn’t remember just how aggressive I got with you that night and seeing the trailer was the first time I witnessed it. I know you and I had a rough season and it will play out as it will but on a personal level I wanted to let you know that I don’t think that behavior is acceptable and I’m embarrassed it got to that point.”

Pienaar then read how Chastain responded. “Well, at least it’s a good thing you’re practicing writing those words now because obviously you’re going to have to make that statement publicly at least a few times over the next 18 weeks. Best of luck to you.”

Pienaar experienced considerable backlash

Pienaar was roasted on social media during the episode and hours after. Captain Lee Rosbach, who shared he was seeing the behavior for the first time was extremely displeased. “I have no excuse for the behavior of either of those boys, not men, boys,” he tweeted. “Tanner, you can’t even talk let alone think. Ashton, you have crossed the line so far its unbelievable. You both should be ashamed of your actions. Lucky I wasn’t there or neither of you would have been.”

He also posted an apology which he shared to his Instagram story. In the video, Pienaar apologized to Chastain and the entire crew. “I definitely didn’t set the right example with my behavior,” he said. “And if anything, I showed what a destructive relationship with alcohol can cause.”

Chastain saw the apology and didn’t seem to be very warmed by his words. “An Instagram story apology lasts a day, but a bravo aftershow interview is forever,” she tweeted. Pienaar doesn’t think Chastain quit because of his actions.