Survivor 2's Kel Discusses Bar Attack for the First Timeby David Bloomberg -- 10/03/2002
You may have heard rumors about Survivor 2 contestant Kel Gleason being attacked a couple weeks ago in a bar. A few posts were made about it on Survivor-related message boards, but there were no big news articles. Indeed, some people even started saying the whole thing was a hoax - if it had really happened, it would have been in all the newspapers.
But it wasn't a hoax. Kel was attacked and stabbed repeatedly in a crowded bar while bystanders did nothing to help. He wanted to keep the incident under wraps while he began recuperation, but yesterday he gave RealityNewsOnline his first interview since the attack. He said that he was willing to talk to us because we have talked before and he knows that readers of this website are interested in reality TV, while the generic entertainment show on TV would just be using it to fill time.
Before we got into discussing what happened in the bar, we talked about what he has been doing. As you may recall from our previous interview, Kel had been working for Global TV as their Survivor reporter.
RealityNewsOnline: Were you planning to do commentary for Global again this season?
Kel Gleason: No. Global TV was a great gig. It runs like the U.S. Army - and I mean that in a positive sense. They have so many resources, it makes your life easy. If you need a cameraman or a producer or whatever, you've got one. I've worked for some TV stations without those resources, and it was much more difficult. I loved that, it was really nice to work for a company like that and I'm very thankful to have worked for such a robust company. But I wanted to pursue other things. That's why I left the military - to see what else is out there.
RNO: So what had you been up to?
Kel: I've been doing commercials, taking more acting lessons, taking film auditioning courses with a Canadian flavor, because it is different than American classes. I also have a small part as a villain on the series Mutant X. I've been concentrating on that angle (acting).
RNO: So, where did the attack take place?
Kel: Two female friends had called me and asked to go to a club called the Red Square in Toronto. They said it was Asian Focus Night - a celebration of Asian prosperity in Toronto. I went with them.
RNO: What happened?
Kel: The bar is designed in a peculiar way - a horseshoe pattern. The two major bars are at the ends of the horseshoe, with the dance floor in the middle. I have two friends that work at the bars and I left the two friends I'd come in with for a few minutes to go talk to one of my friends who works at the bar.
As I was talking to her, a man came up to me and asked if I was "that Indian on Survivor." I thought it was kind of a strange way to refer to me - I've been asked many times if I was "the guy from Survivor," but never like this. Still, I answered that, yeah, I was the guy on Survivor.
He walked away and I kept talking to my friend. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that he had gone to some other people to verify that I was, indeed, the guy from Survivor. Then he found three people he knew and came back, making a circle around me. I began to wonder why they were surrounding me like this when one of them splashed a drink right into my eyes. It was a strong drink and it temporarily blinded me. Then they suddenly started hitting me in the sides and back of my head, striking me with broken beer bottles, stabbing me repeatedly.
I knew if I stayed where I was, I was going to die, so I flung myself on the bar, trying to get to behind it. They grabbed my legs and kept striking at me, though they couldn't get to my head now. They hit me in the shoulder blades, and gave me a number of cuts plus one stab into my back two inches from my spine.
I kept trying to pull away from them as they continued to grab at me. I finally got to the other side of the bar, bleeding heavily and with my clothes ripped apart. I had lost so much blood that I couldn't get up.
Somebody had apparently called the police, and the police and paramedics finally showed up. Nobody had stepped in to stop the attack - not waiters, not bouncers. The bouncers said they weren't around when it happened. My friend at the bar couldn't do anything - she was just screaming because there was so much blood. The bar was in chaos, with people running and screaming, but nobody came to help.
It makes you think about how different people react when you see somebody being attacked - some jump in to help, some run away, and some are in complete fear and don't move at all.
RNO: Did they catch the four guys who attacked you?
Kel: No. All four escaped.
RNO: Has anybody at the bar given a good description of them?
Kel: As far as I know, there is no good description. I have no clue what the police are doing. I'm not saying they haven't done anything, but I just don't know what they've been doing.
RNO: How did you manage to keep this out of the news?
Kel: I asked the people at the hospital to keep it quiet. I didn't want it in the media. And that's one thing about Canadians - if you ask them to do something and they say they will do it, they will.
This was not something I wanted to glorify, not something I wanted to talk about right after it happened.
RNO: How are you doing now?
Kel: I'm doing very well now. I'm still in a lot of pain, but that's to be expected after an attack like this. I've had stitches and "glue" [like superglue used in place of stitches] in different parts of my head and back. I was stabbed seven times in the head and once in the back. The head wounds are all over my scalp - under my hairline. They didn't hit my eyes or my face or any vital organs. If I could use the word "lucky," which I think is kind of stretching it, it's that they didn't hit any vital parts.
The doctors did a CAT scan and there were no skull fractures. I had ear problems the day after, but that may have been due to so much dried blood clogging my ear canals. I'm still not sure about that, though. I seem okay otherwise, and I'll be going to the doctor again later this week.
RNO: What have you been doing since the attack?
Kel: The whole incident put a stop to what I was doing. I've been in bed a lot, getting my energy back up and getting myself back in gear. Today [Wednesday] was one of the first days for me to do a little exercise. I'm at about 60% now, but I'm amazed at how quickly I'm recuperating back to my normal routine. On Monday night I went to my acting class for the first time since the attack.
This is not an experience I'm used to - being stabbed. (Laughs) I laugh to keep from thinking about it. It upset me almost as much as when I was in Bosnia [with the Army], seeing the aftermath of violence on people - to be on the receiving end is even more disturbing.
RNO: Is there anything else you'd like to tell readers?
Kel: The amount of support I've gotten from CBS and Survivor Entertainment Group and other people I've worked with - e-mails and well wishes - has been very nice. I shouldn't be surprised. It sounds corny, but it is like a second family. I did the show two years ago and I'm still in their thoughts. That means a lot to me.
RNO: I have to ask - did you hear from Jerri?
Kel: Of course not! (Laughing) You've got to be kidding. I don't think I'll ever hear from her. But it's good that you could make me laugh.
RNO: We wish you all the best and a speedy recovery. We'll check in with you again soon. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us!
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline, and can be reached at email@example.com.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our recent Survivor articles at the Survivor Thailand page and take a look at our sections on Big Brother 3 and The Osbournes. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!