The chief stew and bosun didn’t seem to have a typical quarrel, but rather, Pienaar became aggressive and violent, leaving Chastain fearful of his behavior. When Chastain left the boat, she warned producers and the camera crew to stop following her. She ended up leaving the show for less than 24 hours, but her absence worried the crew and Captain Lee Rosbach.
Rosbach, who was not privy to the altercation at the time, seemed confused and annoyed that something this significant transpired overnight. Chastain returned the next day and the crew managed to pull it together for the next charter. However, Chastain reveals she was fearful the night before and shared the only way to remain safe was to leave.
She felt that she had no choice but to leave
Tensions mounted in the van ride home from a drunken night out with the crew. Pienaar became enraged in the vehicle when Chastain inquired about his mother. He punched the side of the van’s interior and had to be restrained by chef Kevin Dobson and deckhand Tanner Sterback. Later in the crew mess, Chastain and Pienaar argued again. He got in her face, telling her that the entire crew was sick of her receiving preferential treatment.
At that point, Chastain left Valor even though deckhand Rhylee Gerber tried to get to her to talk to Rosbach. During the episode, she shared in the tweet that Pienaar left her no choice but to walk away. “I’ve unfortunately learned the hard way that when someone becomes violent the safest thing to do is remove yourself from the situation as it will most likely happen again. Ashton’s behavior was scary & I didnt feel like anyone was acknowledging that so I had to leave,” she tweeted.
Showrunner Wilson Cleveland commented on the thread he was surprised that a producer didn’t intervene. “You did the right thing. A producer should’ve intervened sooner. Kevin’s ‘same outfit’ comment was trash. Also I kinda want to know where you stayed and if it was nice.”
Chastain also notes how Pienaar is trying to blame her for his actions
Pienaar has been playing defense for the past few weeks. He issued an Instagram story apology and has been defensive about his behavior in Below Deck After Show appearances. However, in the episode, he admitted he didn’t recall how intense his behavior became.
Chastain tweeted about the irony of how Pienaar has been trying to blame her for his anger. “So hilarious how since filming Ashton has publicly had such strong opinions about how I instigated him in the van but turns out he didn’t even remember sh*t the next morning,” she wrote.
She also tweeted about a shop she launched to help women who are victims of domestic abuse. “2 yrs ago I opened @GenesisShop321 all proceeds go to @GenesisHouse321 which provides emergency and transitional housing for women and their children in need. Many times these women are fleeing unsafe home situations. Please support if you can #BelowDeck http://genesishousefl.org.”