Bravo’s hit series Below Deck has seen “stud of the sea” Captain Lee become a firm fan favorite. However, even his most devoted fans don’t know the truth behind the tragedies he has experienced away from the cameras.
Below Deck premiered on Bravo in 2013 as fans follow the crews of superyachts as they accommodate wealthy guests.
Captain Lee has been on the reality show for all ten seasons as the only regular cast member.
Let’s take a look behind the scenes at Captain Lee’s life away from the sea and without the cameras rolling.
Captain Lee was victim of identity theft
Not everything has been plain sailing for Captain Lee Rosback. While he may be a reality TV star and the boats he sails worth almost $10 million, Lee filed for bankruptcy in March 2017, according to Radar Online.
However, it turns out he was the victim of identity theft. Someone had claimed bankruptcy in his name while he was chartering at sea.
Captain Lee told Bravo’s The Daily Dish: “I was at sea so it was just like I’m getting all these emails and phone calls, and my phone’s blowing up. They said, ‘Your bankruptcy. We had no idea.’ I said, ‘What bankruptcy?’ I said, ‘I’m not bankrupt. I don’t owe anybody.’”
Captain Lee’s son tragically passed away
Captain Lee’s youngest son, Joshua Lee Rosback, tragically passed away at the age of 42 in 2019. Lee shared that his son had fought a 20-year battle with addiction.
Joshua’s obituary stated he passed “in the comfort of his home,” while he shared his father’s love of the ocean whether “sailboating or first mate aboard a yacht.”
Captain Lee told Page Six he thought Josh had turned a corner as he had got himself a car, job and was “doing well.” Sadly, Captain Lee told Instagram followers: “Addiction is an insidious disease.” He added that no matter someone’s social class or geographic boundaries, the “devastation it leaves remains the same.”
He added in a moving caption: “We loved Josh unconditionally and were proud of the man he had become in spite of his problems. There was no one I ever knew who gave more of himself to those in his life. He loved with all his being without expecting anything in return. We both feel a hole in our souls that will never be filled.”
Captain Lee concluded his Instagram post by urging those fighting addiction to “get help no matter what.”
Captain Lee gets loving tattoo in tribute to lost son
Since his son’s passing, Captain Lee has spoken candidly on the show about the effects it has had on himself and his family.
Fans flooded the comments section of his Instagram tribute including former Below Deck chief stew Kate Chastain, who took to Twitter to share a heartfelt message.
On the one-year anniversary of Joshua’s passing, Captain Lee got a beautiful tattoo of his son’s face, as per Distractify. The tattoo was across his heart, where his son belongs.
Captain Lee also changed Mary Anne’s wedding ring to have a heart that reads “Josh” – it also holds some of their late son’s ashes.
Captain Lee leaves Below Deck a season early
The 73-year-old great-grandfather has struggled to overcome ongoing health issues so decided to leave Below Deck early. The reality star announced his exit on the most recent episode of Below Deck, which aired on Monday, December 19, 2022.
His health issues mean he needs to sit out the show to focus on himself as he fears his health concerns might have an effect on the whole boat. This season, he has been captaining the Motoryacht St David, which is sailing in St Lucia.
Lee was struggling with nerve issues at the start of season 10 but continued with the charter season hoping his injury would subside. However, he admitted: “My injury, it’s getting worse. The left side of my body, I don’t feel anything. I expected a lot more progress than I’m experiencing and,the most frustrating part about it is, I can’t do a thing about it.”
The premature end of his yachting season saw him call a team meeting as he told the crew: “As you guys know I’ve been struggling with my mobility. It’s been hard, and I’ve let you guys down, and for that, I apologize. So I’ve made a decision to leave the boat.”
Rosbach’s bombshell left fans distraught as the anchor of the series was dropped. Don’t count on him not returning, though. Thankfully, he doesn’t plan to retire just yet.
If you’ve been affected by this story you can contact American Addiction Centers on (877) 686-7688 or Talk To Frank on 0300 123 6600 in the UK.