‘Below Deck’ Ashton Pienaar Celebrates Major Milestone

Below Deck Ashton Pienaar Celebrates Major Milestone [Screenshot | YouTube]

Below Deck alum Ashton Pienaar became the least-favorite cast member. In Season 6, viewers wept when he almost lost his life. Ashton returned to the show as a boatswain but had difficulty managing his deck team. Deckhand Rhylee Gerber did not like working with a group of guys.

She felt that they were out to get her. What made things worse is that Rhylee felt that Ashton was aggressive towards her. Ashton’s character was worse whenever he drank. After a crew night out, he exploded and punched a window and yelled at chief stew Kate Chastain. That difficult season is what eventually led her to quit the show.

Ashton Pienaar was known as “Smashton”

The former Bravo star had an alter-ego. He was often referred to as “Smashton” on the show. His behavior was strikingly different from Season 6. Fans loved Ashton when he first joined the show. However, that all changed due to his behavior and drunken antics. Ashton explained that “Smashton” was the life of the party, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

He became aggressive with the female crew members. Even Kate was so scared that she left the boat. Ashton had a lot of apologizing to do during the Below Deck Season 7 reunion. Yet, fans felt that he still didn’t take accountability for his behavior.

Below Deck Ashton Pienaar [Screenshot | YouTube]
[Screenshot | YouTube]
At the time, he claimed that he quit drinking and went to therapy. Ashton said that he was a changed man, but the viewers weren’t convinced. His departure from the show was a turbulent one. While he would apologize for his behavior, he flipped it around and blamed it on his crew members.

Season 7 was already deemed one of the “worst” seasons that fans ever watched. All of the male crew members were criticized for their behavior. The “bru crew” were loud, aggressive, and obnoxious. It made for terrible TV.

Former Below Deck star is two years sober

Ashton embarked on his sober journey since then. He took to Instagram to announce that he’s two years sober. The former reality star left yachting to become a health coach. Ashton posted an Instagram reel that showed him doing his signature dance.

In the caption, he explained why he decided to live his life sober. Unlike most people, he wasn’t addicted to alcohol. He could go without it for several days or weeks. But it was every time that he did drink that brought out his worse side.

“My sobriety story is quite different from most. I never really had a drinking problem, in that I could go days or weeks without drinking or craving a drink,” Ashton wrote. “My challenge was that I had some deeper underlying issues that I had to deal with. When I did drink, I would be the life of the party 90% of the time, but the other 10% something switched in me and it wasn’t pretty.”

Below Deck Ashton Pienaar [Screenshot | YouTube]
[Screenshot | YouTube]
He even held himself accountable for his past behavior. Ashton has reflected back on his life since leaving the series. He uses his Instagram to share his workouts and meal prep ideas. He also prefers to spread positivity with his fans.

Ashton concluded his message with the following, “I have taken full responsibility for myself and my life and will continue to do so.”

What are your thoughts on Ashton celebrating two years of sobriety? Did you ever watch Season 7? Sound off below in the comment section.

Below Deck Season 9 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

Chanel Adams

One Comment

  1. I enjoyed your stories about Ashton. Congratulations to him and his new life. I am a product of 8-1/2 years of sobriety and it is life changing.
    When I was drinking, I drank to excess, I was a blackout drunk, my personality changed and not good and lastly, I almost died.
    Getting honest, taking full responsibility and making life changes for the best is what recovery can do.
    It sure looks like Ashton is working toward that one day at a time!
    Thank you for writing a positive story about a person that many of us disliked and now can appreciate.

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