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Survivor's Jeff Varner Apologizes For Outing Zeke Smith in the 'Worst Decision of His Life'

Survivor's Jeff Varner Apologizes For Outing Zeke Smith in the 'Worst Decision of His Life'

Jeff Varner has broken his silence following a controversial episode of Survivor in which he outed fellow contestant Zeke Smith as transgender during a tribal council.

He took to Instagram to apologize to Zeke in a written statement.

“Yep. I did that. And I offer my deepest, most heart-felt apologies to Zeke Smith, his friends and life allies, his family and to all those who my mistake hurt and offended,” Jeff wrote. “I recklessly revealed something I mistakenly believed everyone already knew. I was wrong and make no excuses for it. I own responsibility in what is the worst decision of my life.”

“Let me be clear, outing someone is assault,” he continued. “It robs a strong, courageous person of their power and protection and opens them up to discrimination and danger. It can leave scars that haunt for a lifetime. I am profoundly sorry. Zeke is a wonderful man and I will forever be amazed and inspired by his forgiveness and compassion. I thank God for that and the gift of being an example as to why you should never do what I did.”

MORE: Survivor Fans React to Zeke Smith Being Outed As Transgender

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Photos: CBS
Posted to: Jeff Varner, Survivor, Television, Zeke Smith

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  • Davey

    Wow that Varner is disgusting.

  • Dee

    if zeke walked into the womens bathroom, i’d beat him with my purse…..

  • Koos

    he was born as nanny?

  • ctan2010

    Too late for apologies – this is what happens when people put their foot in their mouth. Also shows what type of character Jeff is – no one (except family maybe) will respect or trust him anymore.

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  • Lola

    1srt: that’s assault. 2nd: he is a transgender male, why would he want to go into the women’s bathroom?

  • persononhere

    is it really all that shocking, though? did anyone actually believe he was straight? jeff knew more, but c’mon, i think most people could see he wasn’t hetero, and Zeke TOLD him, so.. you don’t tell people your secrets if you want them to remain a secret, geesh, common sense 101

  • WP

    Because some states want laws requiring him to.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathroom_bill

  • Sabrina

    Huh, why are you talking about him being “straight” or “hetero”? He is transgender.

  • Lola

    that’s not what I asked, though. My question was “why would he WANT to go into the women’s bathroom”.
    OP said they would beat him, as if going to the women’s bathroom is something the dude would want to do.

  • WP

    The OP didn’t say why he might go into a woman’s bathroom, but to answer your question I was trying to imply that he may not actually “want” to, but he may “have” to.

  • Gina

    Him being transgender is the topic at hand here, not whether he’s gay or straight. Keep up.

  • persononhere

    i know that moron, try reading with intelligence

  • Dee

    thats the point.

  • jaxi

    Get over yourself, people who know Jeff love him and they’ve all forgiven him. Believe it or not people can say stupid things. I’m so glad you’ve never said anything that deeply hurt anyone.

  • jaxi

    He’s actually a good person that made a bad mistake.