João Franco shared an update on his relationship with Brooke Laughton in the Below Deck Mediterranean Season 4 premiere Monday night, revealing that "things seemed perfect" for a while after they disembarked the Talisman Maiton together last season — and then they weren't.
"Brooke and I threw ourselves in the deep end. I met her family, she met mine. She came to Zimbabwe, and we worked so well together, we really did," he said during an interview in the episode. "Things seemed perfect, but I found out she cheated on me."
Brooke addressed João's claims in a statement to PEOPLE prior to the Below Deck Med Season 4 premiere. “Although it initially hurt to hear João blamed our relationship break down on a false claim that I cheated on him, it is very true to his character and allows him some relief for his ego," she said. "In reality, there was absolutely no cross over between when I realized what kind of person I wasn’t looking for and the kind I was and I absolutely did not cheat on him."
She added, “If this theory makes him sleep easier at night, then so be it but him saying this only makes me lose even more respect for him. I know exactly the kind of person I am and I’m extremely content and secure in the facts of how everything played out. … I only hope he continues to [grow] and learn what it is to be a man and a good person.”
João told The Daily Dish prior to the Below Deck Med Season 4 premiere that he found out Brooke had allegedly been unfaithful to him while traveling from Europe to the United States to be with her. "Well, by the time I figured out exactly what was going on, I couldn't really believe it because I had literally quit my dream job. I had so much going on at the time, but everything I had planned for was for her and I," he explained. "I was busy planning a trip on a sailboat for us for two-and-a-half months, and she asked me to give her one more month on her boat in order for her to be happy to leave, and it turned out she was with the other guy."
João said that he is "not at all" in contact with Brooke these days. "We haven't spoken to each other since, not once. She had apologized to me through a friend of mine, and then I just said to her, I don't know what she wanted, but I was over it, so I told her that," João shared. "I wouldn't be able to speak to her again."
Watch João and Brooke discuss their relationship at the Below Deck Med Season 3 reunion, below.