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Survivor's Jeff Varner is 'Devastated' Over Outing Zeke Smith

Survivor's Jeff Varner is 'Devastated' Over Outing Zeke Smith

Jeff Varner, the Survivor contestant who outed fellow castaway Zeke Smith during last night’s episode, is speaking out.

He did his exit interviews this morning and was emotional and apologetic.

“I have apologized to him. We’ve spoken several times on the phone. He continually forgives me,” Jeff told EW. “I’m amazed and moved by his ability to do that. I know that forgiveness is difficult. I know he has a lot of people in his ear. I know that watching this last night was traumatic, not only for me and my family. I can only imagine what it was like for him and his friends. I hurt him.”

“I will say that I have spent 10 months stewing in this awful, horrible mistake I made,” Jeff said. “I have been through I don’t now how much therapy with the show’s therapist, with a local therapist, I have met with and spoken to several LGBT organizations, I have joined the board of a couple of them, I joined a national study on outness. This has changed me drastically. But I don’t want to spend two minutes talking about my experience because this isn’t about me. This is about Zeke. And I can only profusely apologize.”

Jeff added, “And if I can deliver any message to anybody it’s that we should never out or marginalize a trans person. It stigmatizes them. It shames them, It pushes them back into the shadows which is the opposite of what we need. We are forcing them as a society to not be their themselves.”

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

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