Jackie Siegel and Below Deck’s Captain Lee Rosbach have a tragic experience in common — losing a child to a drug overdose.
Captain Lee’s son, Joshua Lee Rosbach, died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 42, on June 22, 2019. The Queen of Versailles personality and her husband lost their daughter, Victoria, in June 6, 2015, at the age of 18.
Jackie recently spoke to Distractify about chartering Captain Lee’s yacht, and how her husband, David Siegel, immediately offered condolences, even after being told to not bring up the sad subject.
“My husband then told Captain Lee that we lost our daughter too,” Jackie said. “All of a sudden, they started bonding and they kept talking and talking. Captain Lee opened up, and it made him feel better to know that he wasn’t alone and isolated.”
“It helped my husband as well, from man to man, having that conversation,” she added. “They’re on the same level. They just bonded and talked like every night, even after everyone went to bed. It was very emotional.”
Captain Lee spoke to People about his late son, one year after his death.
“I don’t really know how I’m feeling,” he confessed at the time. “It’s difficult to put into words because it’s such — we’re not wired to do this at all. It’s not something that’s supposed to happen to you. We’re wired in the opposite way. We’re supposed to die before our children do.”
“You might get better coping with it, but it never goes away,” he added. “It’s never out of your mind. It’s always there. There are some 200 kids a day that die from this, and we just don’t do a damn thing about it.”
Captain Lee also shared that Josh’s memory has been honored through a scholarship created in his name at Awaken Recovery Center in Greenacres, Florida. The scholarship provides in-house treatment for a recipient chosen by Captain Lee and his wife, in order to help another family avoid the horrific loss they experienced.
“Somebody [at the rehab center] got in touch with me because they wanted to donate a scholarship in Josh’s name for a person that was deserving and in need of that,” the Below Deck star said. “It was a full scholarship; everything was paid for and there was no timeline.”
Jackie and her husband also wanted to help people struggling with substance abuse, so they created Victoria’s Voice Foundation, to raise awareness about addiction.
“One hundred percent of my focus right now is on saving lives. Not on business, not on houses, not on reality shows,” David told People in 2015. “I want my daughter’s legacy to be that thousands of lives will be saved because she lost hers. That’s what’s keeping us sane. We could have crawled into bed, pulled the covers over our head and been a basket case, but instead we embarked on this journey to help other people, to save other families from going through what we’ve gone through.”
Below Deck airs on Mondays, at 9 pm, ET, on Bravo.