Below Deck Med's Hannah Ferrier on Being Fired over Valium: 'It's Not Something I Was Hiding'
"I think I've just been really disappointed because I feel I'm being painted as some sort of drug addict," the Bravo star said
After bosun Malia White reported the franchise's longtime chief stewardess for having unregistered Valium and a vape pen in her possession on the vessel, Captain Sandy Yawn dismissed Ferrier from The Wellington crew.
In an interview with Decider, Ferrier, 33, said she was disappointed by the way it all played out.
"You can see on my face when she opens that bathroom door," she said. "My pants are undone. I'm going to the bathroom. I'm like, why would I flush my medication? It wouldn't have crossed my mind to flush Valium, because I don't think I'm doing anything wrong. It's anti-anxiety medication. It's like, it's five milligrams of Valium! It was just disappointing."
Maritime law stipulates that crew members must check medications in with the captain, and Ferrier acknowledges she "made the mistake of not clearing it" with Yawn.
"It's not something I was hiding," she said. "It wasn't like I went on and I was like, 'Ooh, I have this Valium. I can't let anyone see it.' To me, it's just anti-anxiety medication. I made the mistake of not clearing it when I brought it on the boat. Because I've always had it, every year. It just wasn't really a process that went through my mind. That was my mistake. But yeah, it certainly wasn't something I was trying to hide."
Ferrier said the vape pen was CBD, and that she also uses it for anxiety relief.
"When I travel, I check whether CBD is legal in the country that I'm going into," she said. "So yeah, I had checked that CBD was legal in Spain, and it is. Once again, I genuinely didn't think that there was anything. I didn't know I was doing something wrong."
Looking back, Ferrier said she would have done things differently if given the chance.
"Obviously, I would have declared the medication when I went on board," she said. "If I knew it was going to turn out like this, I probably just wouldn't have done the season."
And Ferrier, who announced earlier this summer that the current season of Below Deck Mediterranean will be her last, admitted that she's "in a different place" in her life now. (She's currently expecting her first child with boyfriend Josh.)
"To me, this season, I was very different to the seasons beforehand," she said. "My life is very different now. I think I'm very different when I'm single, and when I'm in a relationship. I wasn't going out and drinking a lot. You see the whole season, there's not one scene of me getting drunk. Because I wasn't getting drunk!"
"And that's not because of anything that Josh says, it's just for me," she added. "As you can understand as someone with anxiety, I don't want to wake up the next morning and go, 'I was drunk last night. What's going to come out on TV? Am I going to look like an idiot?' I'm in a different place in my life now. I think I was a lot more introverted. But I just wanted to do my job, make my money, and go home."
"It's not narcotics. It's anti-anxiety medication," she said.
"I think I've just been really disappointed because I feel I'm being painted as some sort of drug addict or what have you," she continued. "Which is just so sad, because there are so many people in the world that suffer from mental illness. And it's 2020. We shouldn't be making people feel like a lesser for taking medication for mental illness. Or making them feel like they can't do a job, or they can't do what normal people can do."
On WWHL, White claimed that she saw Ferrier take Valium in an attempt to get her anxiety under control after she had a panic attack over Chef Kiko's departure.
"I think in that moment when she asked for Valium is when it really hit me that those were the pills that she was taking every night all season," she said. "That's when it became a real serious thing for me."
White also denied to host Andy Cohen that she reported Ferrier as revenge for her rooming situation.
"I already had my bunk at that point, so, yeah, it was because it was my duty to," she said. "I don't want to lose my licensing."
Ferrier defended herself during the episode by tweeting a photo of the drugs in question.
"I like Malia's arranging skills," she wrote. "So that's prescribed Valium, CBD (which is legal in Spain), a lighter (not sure what this has to do with anything) and my passport holder… And for anyone who's interested the prescription is on the other side of the box as shown…"
"She went into my cabin AFTER we had the fight about cabin arrangements..." Ferrier added. "Then went through my handbag and took a photo of my prescribed medication and legal CBD and sent it to Sandy."
Below Deck Mediterranean airs Mondays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.