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"Below Deck" Star Says He's Getting "Brutal Death Threats" as Fans Beg for His Firing

Kyle Viljoen stars on this season of Bravo's Below Deck Mediterranean.

Fans of Below Deck Mediterranean think that Kyle Viljoen takes things too far when it comes to his interactions with coworkers—whether to their faces or behind their backs. But now, Viljoen has shared just how much further some viewers are taking things when it comes to their criticism of him. In an Instagram post on Nov. 20, Viljoen said that he has received death threats and been told to harm himself by viewers of the Bravo reality show.

RELATED: Below Deck Star Captain Lee Reveals Shocking Show Secrets (Like How Much Guests Really Pay).

During Season 8 of Below Deck Mediterranean, Viljoen has become a villain to viewers for his actions aboard luxury yacht Mustique. He has been shown stirring the pot between his coworkers, and has gotten into explosive fights with crew members Max Salvador, Natalya Scudder, and Jessika Asai. As reported by Us Weekly, on the Nov. 20 episode of the show, Scudder decided to leave the boat after a fight with Viljoen. This led Captain Sandy Yawn to sit him down for a serious conversation.

"Every situation that has happened on this boat, guess who is the common denominator?" she said. "Your screaming match with Max, your screaming match with Jess, and your screaming match with Natalya. You are the person that is always in the screaming matches."

Yawn added, "I would never bring you back. You can't control your emotions. This is a professional setting. You are bullying and you are screaming."

Below Deck fans have slammed Viljoen on social media. "Can we all agree that Kyle doesn't need to be on another season of any show in the Below Deck franchise? He's making it really hard to keep watching this season," wrote one X user.

Another posted, "Finally Kyle showing his true self. He's an awful human being. Nat does have issues but Kyle has been a problem since his first day on the Below Deck franchise."

Someone else shared, "Kyle is the only person I've seen on the Below Deck shows that each episode I dislike him more and more and more. I keep thinking there will be a redeeming episode but nope. Not yet."

But while many people have kept their criticism of Viljeon to the show itself and posted their thoughts publicly, he says that he has received more threatening and dangerous messages privately.

"This season has been incredibly painful to watch and relive. I have had to drag myself out of bed each day during these months just to get by," Viljoen writes in his Instagram post. He goes on to say that he has received "consistent brutal death threats, the encouragement to end my life, messages and emails of constant homophobic slurs, graphic images and ruthless articles that have been written that are completely false…"

Viljoen also talks about having been hospitalized for Stevens-Johnson syndrome. According to the Mayo Clinic, this is "a rare, serious disorder of the skin and mucous membranes" that is "usually a reaction to medication."

"I was actively in therapy to overcome what I had experienced in life and during the season until my medication then further placed me in ICU with a rare diagnosis called Steven Johnson Syndrome," Viljoeon writes. "Can you just imagine trying to actively heal your mind only for that to furthermore placed you in a deadly situation?"

He says that he is the "realist [sic] of what reality TV can bring," and continues, "You witness metal deterioration in the workplace and all I am hoping is for light to be shed, the ability for this to be a teachable moment to look out for those around you and notice key factors in your loved ones." He writes that he is only asking for "my chance to grow."

This is not the first time Viljoen has posted about his experience with Below Deck Mediterranean being challenging. In an Instagram video posted on Nov. 15, he expressed regret over his behavior on the show and said he was in an environment that "wasn't conducive to being the happy caring person I am."

Yawn wrote in the comments section, "Always rooting for you kyle! You're a great person and a very hard worker! Self reflection is always important." Viljoen responded to her, "You have been a great deal of guidance and love. I am very appreciative of you."

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If you are or a loved one is struggling with suicide or depression, you can call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or visit

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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