It’s been a torrid season for Below Deck. On-camera sexual assault resulted in cast members being removed from the show, and, now, a different cast member, Gary King, is being accused of sexual misconduct off-camera. Samantha Suarez, a former makeup artist on the original show who assisted talent managers on Sailing Yacht, told Rolling Stone that King sexually assaulted her during the filming of season four of the spinoff. Suarez says King attempted to coerce her into staying in his room while drunk, and, later, when she didn’t comply, he allegedly “refused to let go of her even though she says she tried to kick and elbow him to get him off her,” according to the report.
Suarez reportedly told the producers of the show the next day. King was then removed from the hotel and slept on the yacht while not shooting. HR later arranged for Suarez to have counseling, but asked her not to speak to other members of the production team about the assault. Suarez says that the producers offered to fire King from the show, but left the decision up to her, which she does not approve of, especially since she didn’t have the agency to enforce that decision, if made. “Bravo is committed to maintaining a safe and respectful workplace for cast and crew on our reality shows,” reads a statement to RS. “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.” 51 Minds Entertainment, the show’s production company, stated “the case was investigated and reviewed as soon as it was submitted, and production acted accordingly based on the results.”
Other members of the production team corroborated that King is known on set for his bad behavior. “He’s next-level scary with women,” a source told RS. He is reported to have grabbed women inappropriately and not taken producers’ orders to stop seriously. “It was insane. There were multiple incidents of sexual harassment in front of multiple producers after this person had been given verbal warnings multiple times,” a source said. His official cast bio on NBC reads, “He brims with mischievous charm but his flirtation gets him in hot water on and off deck.”