Jeff Varner knows he crossed a line on Wednesday’s Survivor when he outed associate contestant Zeke Smith as transgender in an bid to save himself from rejecting — obsequious Zeke’s hostility to share his many personal information done him deceitful.
It was a intolerable and sickening impulse that immediately backfired on a 50-year-old former news anchor. Tears entrance out of his eyes, he buried his conduct in his hands and fast apologized for what he pronounced — yet his difference wouldn’t be forgotten. Not usually was Varner unanimously voted out of a diversion by his tribemates, yet everybody from host Jeff Probst to viewers examination during home have given chastised Varner for his targeted attack.
But no one has beaten up Varner some-more than Varner himself.
On Thursday morning, he called into EW Morning Live (Entertainment Weekly Radio, SiriusXM, channel 105) to plead a partial — and certified that he’s been in therapy given filming it.
“I have spent 10 months stewing in this awful, terrible mistake we have made,” Varner said. “I have been through, we don’t know how many therapy. With a show’s therapist, with a internal therapist. we have met with and oral to several LGBT organizations — I’ve assimilated a house of a integrate of them…. this has altered me drastically.”
As tough as it’s been for him, Varner recognizes that Smith, 29, is a genuine plant here.
“This is about Zeke,” Varner said. “I can usually openly apologize. we have apologized to him — we’ve oral several times on a phone. He ceaselessly forgives me. we am vacant and changed during his ability to do that. we know that redemption is difficult. we know that he has a lot of people in his ear. we know that examination this final night was dire not usually for me and my family — we can usually suppose what this was like for him and his friends and everybody who loves him.”
“I harm him,” Varner continued. “When we were in pain and we are in fair, we are dangerous people. We contend things we don’t mean. And he’s job me a extremist and full of hatred and all kinds of stuff. we pardon him for that. we give him each in. of each room to feel and knowledge what he’s feeling. If he wants to take swings during me, I’m a one to palm him a bat. we merit it. we merit each bit of it. No one is going to kick me adult worse than we have myself.”
Elsewhere in Varner’s chat, he explained that his preference to out Smith had come out of a blue — and that a word “deception” he used actually creatively had to do with a tip fondness between Smith, Ozzy Lusth, and Andrea Boehlke.
“It’s hapless that we can’t see a whole tribal. we wish they put that as a tip stage or something,” Varner said. “When we was articulate about a dishonesty of a tip fondness and perplexing to lean everybody else, there was a impulse where Zeke looked during me — this was edited out of a uncover — and he pronounced ‘There is no deception, I’m not deceiving anybody.’ And when he pronounced that, my doubt only came out of my mouth to him.
RELATED VIDEO: Survivor‘s Zeke Smith on Jeff Varner Outing Him as Transgender on TV: ‘I Really Struggle With Forgiving Him
“I consider he hoped others would trust that trans people are dangerous and fraudulent,” he said. “That logic is perpetually worse than him tour me since it’s a same one used to distinguish against, conflict and murder trans people. What’s good is that nobody bought it.”
“It’s critical people see he mislaid that fight,” he added. “The summary should be transparent that hatred will always lose.”
- To see Smith in a pages of PEOPLE, collect adult a latest emanate of a magazine, on newsstands Friday
He also explained to PEOPLE that he did not wish to be a “first transgender Survivor contestant.”
“I’m not ashamed of being trans, yet we didn’t wish that to be my story,” Smith said. “I only wanted to go out on an journey and play a good game. we only wanted to be famous for my game.”
Varner took to Twitter on Wednesday dusk to issue a extensive apology.
— Jeff Varner (@JEFFVARNER) April 13, 2017
“I offer my deepest, many heart-felt apologies to Zeke Smith, his friends and life allies, his family and to all those who my mistake harm and offended,” he wrote. “I fast suggested something we incorrectly believed everybody already knew. we was wrong and make no excuses for it. I possess shortcoming in what is a misfortune preference of my life.”
“Let me be clear, tour someone is assault,” Varner said. “It robs a strong, bold chairman of their energy and insurance and opens them adult to taste and danger. It can leave scars that haunt for a lifetime. we am profoundly sorry. Zeke is a smashing male and we will perpetually be vacant and desirous by his redemption and compassion. we appreciate God for that and a present of being an instance as to because we should never do what we did.”
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He told EW that yet he’s in a wrong, his Survivor family has upheld him behind a scenes.
“This show’s been partial of my life for so long. Once a survivor, always a survivor,” Varner said. “This is my family. Mark Burnett and Jeff Probst and casting and everybody — they’re not observant it publicly, and we know because they’re not, yet I’ve listened from all of them. And they have zero yet adore and support for,eand I’m beholden for that.”
“They’ve got dual kids who are in a center of this and they need to select one or a other,” he added. “And they’re doing a best they can to support us both. I’m only beholden for them. I’m beholden for everybody whose helped me and helped Zeke in this situation.”
Survivor front Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on CBS.