"That's her opinion. That doesn't reflect [me]," Sandy tells TooFab of Chef Mila Kolomeitseva's homophobic comment.
In the trailer for the Bravo show that follows the behind-the-scenes drama of Sandy's crew, Mila Kolomeitseva -- the first female chef in franchise history -- makes a comment about how she doesn't want her son to see "two men kissing each other." Moments later, the screen cuts to Sandy telling an unseen crew member, "Your position is now redundant. I'm going to have to let you go."
While TooFab couldn't quite get the no-nonsense yacht captain to spill on who -- or if -- anyone was really fired, we did get her thoughts on Mila's homophobic comment.
"I heard it through chatter," Sandy explained. "Like, the crew don't run to me and say, 'Did you hear what happened?!' They're not like that. They basically keep it [to themselves], but someone mentioned it, and I just thought, 'Wow.'"
"Listen, people grow up in different countries and are programmed a certain way to think," she said of Mila's conservative Siberian upbringing. "We are fortunate because we get to think how we want to think. We're not in that type of country, so I think it's very hard for someone to adjust to a different culture. And that's why I think this show's great for everyone because you get to see different countries, different cultures, how people think."
"That's her opinion. That doesn't reflect [me]," Sandy added. "She can have her opinion. I don't really care. Doesn't reflect on me. It reflects on her. So when people take it personal, they should probably look at themselves and not point the finger at the person who said it. Doesn't bother me! That's her thing she has to deal with. Not mine."
We were also eager to chat with Sandy about her big relationship news!
Last week, the 54-year-old captain revealed she was dating gospel singer Leah Shafer. What started as a random and platonic Facebook message from Leah that ended with "many blessings" has blossomed into a full-blown relationship. In fact, Sandy recently moved to Denver, Colorado, to live with her girlfriend.
"It was meant to be because I wasn't really looking for it," Sandy told us. "I share this with everyone: I wrote a list of the person I wanted, and she's the list. I didn't write gender, I didn't write state -- which I left off... I moved for love."
Sandy told us that Leah's message stood out to her among the "thousands" she receives because it was "God friendly" -- just like Sandy. Initially, Sandy was impressed with Leah's vocals and invited her to come sing for her "I Believe Tour," but it became evident to both ladies that the relationship went far beyond a business one.
"When we met, it was like, 'Wow!'" she gushed. "You know when you meet that person, you know? And then you say, 'Okay, they're on their best behavior.' But she's actually normal, and I wake up happy every day of my life."
While Sandy doesn't consider herself religious, she does "believe in God and prays," especially during difficult times. In fact, Sandy credits God with getting her through some of her darkest days after surviving a near-fatal motorcycle accident and then cancer.
To hear everything Sandy had to say about Season 4 and her new love, watch the video above.
"Below Deck Mediterranean" Season 4 premieres Monday, June 3 at 9 p.m. on Bravo.
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