BELOW DECK Leigh-Ann and Ben dated after the show! Then he ghosted her?!

Below Deck Ben and Leigh-Ann dated after filming Season 10

As we previously reported, Below Deck Season 10 deckhand Ben Willoughby and fired stew Camille Lamb followed through on their plans to get back together after the charter season ended for Ben. That fairy tale romance took place in the Dominican Republic and lasted ten days before Camille decided to call it quits.

Ben was heart broken by the split, so he decided to continue following his heart (or some other body part) by heading to Florida to give his other stew boo, Leigh-Ann Smith, a second try. That romance lasted a bit longer than #Benille, with Ben and Leigh-Ann going so far as to rent an apartment together! So, are the two still together?

Probably due in part to the fact that there will apparently not be a Below Deck Season 10 Reunion episode, Leigh-Ann took to Instagram to spill the whole story of her post-filming romance with Ben.

Leigh-Ann starts by pointing out she and Ben “connected in June of 2021 and spent a lot of time chatting over Instagram and getting to know one another.” She wasn’t aware that Ben was working on M/Y St. David until she joined the crew in March of 2022.

The two had been chatting for nine months at that point, and Leigh-Ann described their connection as “magical.” From Leigh-Ann:

Coming onboard I had no context about Ben and Camille’s connection only that they had been hooking up for two weeks. (Compare this to the 9 months we had online leading up to this). Hence, I decided to still pursue Ben especially as he continued to show interest in me while filming the show.

Leigh-Ann reveals that she met with Camille the day that filming for the season ended. She apologized to Camille for what happened between her and Ben. In her Instagram stories, Leigh-Ann shared a photo with Camille and described her as an “absolute stunner.”

Below Deck Leigh-Ann and Camille together

In regards to Ben’s decision to pursue Camille instead of her, Leigh-Ann says she “fully supported him and wished him the best in his decision. I was always rooting for him and Camille.”

Ben and Camille’s relationship didn’t work out, and it wasn’t long before Ben reached out to Leigh-Ann about the possibility of giving their relationship a second chance.

Leigh-Ann was open to the idea. She was living in Florida at the time, and she and Ben rented an apartment together.

While living together in Florida, Leigh-Ann says she put a lot of time and effort into trying to help Ben get over Camille.

I was there for him as he was getting through his breakup and was a shoulder to lean on. I did everything in my will to put a smile on his face everyday even though it was killing my own mental health.

Ben and Leigh-Ann talked about working and traveling together, and even the possibility of Ben moving to South Africa with her. “Then Ben decided to cut all ties with we with no explanation,” Leigh-Ann claims. “I’ve reached out to him on numerous occasions to find out what I have done wrong and why I deserve this reaction, but yet he fails to reply.”

The ghosting hit Leigh-Ann hard, and she struggled to understand why Ben would do that. “There is no reason to treat a person the way he treated me. What did I do to deserve this? After all I did to be a good friend to him.”

Leigh-Ann says that the new season airing has forced her to relive the painful experience all over again, but she is doing better. “Recently, I’ve come to peace with not getting an answer,” she says. “However, I know I am not alone in this as many of you are disrespected and treated poorly by someone you once thought so highly of.”

Here’s Leigh-Ann’s concluding remarks, which are remarkably positive given her experience:

Below Deck Leigh-Ann Smith on Ben Willoughby break up

Ben Willoughby explains ghosting Leigh-Ann

After Leigh-Ann shared her side of what happened, Ben offered a response in his Instagram stories. Here is his full, unedited response:

I’m response to Leigh Anne

I had to cut her out of my life as my mental space was taking a toll. I needed space to actually have my own thoughts, make my own decisions instead of someone trying to force me to fall for them. I felt like I was gaslighted into thinking I was wrong for loving Camille and that’s not what someone who says they have you’re best interest at heart would do.
🫶🏼

I followed my heart and am responsible for my own happiness, you have to be selfish in those situations.

Below Deck Ben Willoughby dated then ghosted Leigh-Ann after filming ended

Leigh-Ann’s full statement about Ben

Here is Leigh-Ann Smith’s Instagram post with her full statement about what happened between her and Ben Willoughby. In case there is an issue with the embed, I will also include a typed-out version.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CqDrEp4plJd/

Hi everyone, now that the show has come to an end I have decided to make this post to address the relationship I shared with Ben.

Ben and I connected in June of 2021 and spent a lot of time chatting over Instagram and getting to know one another. Our online connection was magical so much so that we both shared intimate & personal information with one another. Our boats were often in the same port but we had our owners on board therefore we never had the opportunity to actually meet in person. We continued chatting up until March of 2022 until I joined M/Y St. David.

I had no idea Ben was cast as a crew member and when I saw him for the first time in person all those feelings for the last 9 months came rushing through almost as if it was fate.

Watching the episodes now as they released helped me to see Ben’s character and he definitely was not all who I thought ne was back then. Bare in mind, this was filmed a year ago.

Coming onboard I had no context about Ben and Camille’s connection only that they had been hooking up for two weeks. (Compare this to the 9 months we had online leading up to this). Hence, I decided to still pursue Ben especially as he continued to show interest in me while filming the show.

Remember what you see is only 1% of a whole day and most moments we shared were not aired. Some of the crew found us to be more compatible and that they were not very serious. I spoke to Ben about their relationship too and he brushed it off easily and continued to flirt with me and lead me on. What was I meant to think?

On the last night we shared the night together in the guest cabin but the very next day, Ben decided that he wanted to see Camille and explore their connection further after the show wrapped. Obviously, I felt hurt and messed around as I was being dragged into this love triangle. However, I fully supported him and wished him the best in his decision. I was always rooting for him and Camille.

The day we wrapped up filming I met with Camille and apologized about the situation. Ben pursued his connection with Camille but 3 weeks later reached out to me to say that things ended between them. I happened to be in Miami at the time so we decided to link up.

We decided to rent an apartment and lived together for just over a month in FL. Spending each and every day together. (As you can see in this video clip) I was there for him as he was getting through his breakup and was a shoulder to lean on. I did everything in my will to put a smile on his face everyday even though it was killing my own mental health. We also spoke about working and traveling together and Ben possibly coming to SA with me.

Fast forward – Ben got a job and I headed back to SA alone. We kept in contact regularly. Up until the show started airing. Then Ben decided to cut all ties with we with no explanation. I’ve reached out to him on numerous occasions to find out what I ‘lave done wrong and why I deserve this reaction but yet he fails to reply.

There is no reason to treat a person the way he treated me. What did I do to deserve this? After all I did to be a good friend to him.

However, this is the sad truth and the mental challenge I have had to go through and now a year later I am having to relive this all over again. No girl should have to go through this. Why do we allow people to make us feel so worthless and empty? It’s always the good people that fall short.

Recently, I’ve come to peace with not getting an answer. However, I know I am not alone in this as many of you are disrespected and treated poorly by someone you once thought so highly of.

My message to you is that:

•YOU ARE WORTH SO MUCH MORE ❤️ •

I’ve grown over the past year having to go through my own internal heartache and worked through my own emotions and I can finally say that I’m happy and in a very good place. I am focusing on myself and my future. I am still single but working through these hardships I’ve learnt what I deserve and until that special someone comes into my life, I will not give out more than what I deserve.

Be strong. You are not alone. & Put yourself first.

Much love
Leigh-Ann

Asa Hawks is a writer and editor for Starcasm. You can contact Asa via Twitter, Facebook, or email at starcasmtips(at)yahoo.com


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