João Franco revealed that he and Brooke Laughton were no more at the beginning of this season of Below Deck Mediterranean. The bosun explained that he decided to call it quits with the Season 3 second stew after he found out she had been unfaithful to him.
But the end of this romance was even more devastating for João than we knew. João opened up about how he found out Brooke had cheated on him during the Below Deck Mediterranean Season 4 After Show, premiering on Bravotv.com and YouTube on July 29, and it is absolutely soul-crushing.
In the above preview clip of the After Show, João explained that after he and Brooke had been struggling to figure out the future of their relationship for months, she decided to take a job that would make her have to be away from João. "We saw each other a month after that for a few days. Seemed OK. In hindsight, I've figured out what was going on. Got to a point where she had broken up with me on my birthday, and then three days later, she begged me to be back with her. She got her mom to phone me," João explained. "And I said to her again, 'What is it gonna take for us to work? What is it gonna take? What do you want from me?' And she said, 'I need you to be here.' I said, 'OK.' The next day I flew to go see her."
It was when João was on his way to see Brooke that he found out she had been speaking to another guy. "Some texts had come up on my phone. Her Instagram was still connected to my phone. I saw texts between them and pictures and stuff. She was saying one thing to me and then she was saying to the guy, 'Oh my god, [João is] coming to Fort Lauderdale. I'm done with this. I can't be here. I need to leave,'" he recalled. "And then sending me a text off the bat saying, 'Give me a month, and I'm leaving this boat, and we'll be together on a sailboat.'"
João decided to still fly to Florida and confront Brooke in person. "I walked up to her boat, and I begged her to tell me. And then eventually she told me she had been with someone. Then she had said, 'We weren't together. We weren't going out,'" he said. "I made her admit to me, I just said, 'What do you want?' And she said, 'I don't know.' Well, you can't have me. I walked off, and that was the last time I ever spoke to her."
This was such a huge blow for João because "it was everything that I worked for within the year," he explained. "Yeah, I just felt broken," he said.
Brooke denied João's claims that she had cheated on him in a statement to PEOPLE in June. “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 is choosing to look at the good that ultimately came out of the end of his relationship with Brooke. "I don't take away what we learned together. But that was just the best lesson for me, and the best wakeup call to take a step back, because I also, I wasn't in a great place," he shared during the After Show. "So I took that step back, and I just tried to learn about myself again. I couldn't have asked for anything better up until now."
João opens up more about his breakup with Brooke, below.