It’s been almost two months since Below Deck Chief Stew Kate Chastain was arrested for allegedly choking and biting her girlfriend, Rocio “Ro” Hernandez, at their home in Florida. The normally outspoken Kate has been unusually quiet about the attack, but her attorney issued a statement yesterday which states that what Ro told police is “completely fictitious” and that Kate “will be completely vindicated” when the facts come out.
“Ms. Kate Chastain regrets the incident that occurred between her and Ms. (Rocio) Hernandez,” Melbourne attorney Gary Frese says in the statement, issued to Florida Today. “The version of the incident told to the police by Ms. Hernandez is completely fictitious,” he adds.
The statement then delves into what really happened on the night of the incident, asserting that Kate was defending herself against a much larger, and much stronger person. “Ms. Hernandez, a former professional fitness trainer over six feet tall, physically attacked Ms. Chastain who tried her best to defend herself during the attack. Ms. Chastain is of very slight build and is 5 foot 7 inches tall. At no time was Ms. Chastain the aggressor in the altercation.”
Mr. Frese then expresses his confidence in his client’s innocence, and says that this isn’t the first time Ro has been involved in a violent altercation. “When all the actual facts are determined in the legal process Ms. Chastain will be completely vindicated and Ms. Hernandez will be shown to have a history of violent behavior and to have completely misrepresented the facts to the police about Ms. Chastain’s actions.”
Although Kate has been silent about specifics in the case, which I’m sure is at the request of her attorney, she has shared others’ comments on social media declaring her innocence. Also, in her blog post about the impact the attack and break up has had on her life, Kate did state that “the truth will come out.”
I’m happy for Kate that it has FINALLY been said officially that the police account of what happened, based on what Ro told them, is untrue. She was formally charged with domestic battery by strangulation (a third-degree felony) and battery domestic violence (a first-degree misdemeanor) on August 3, and according to online records, her next scheduled court appearance is September 13, which is exactly one week after Below Deck returns for Season 4 on September 6. Judging from the preview trailer, Kate’s relationship with her girlfriend Ro will be featured prominently. It’s important to note that the season was filmed prior to the incident in June. It is unknown if Bravo did any additional filming after Kate’s arrest as an update.