Antonio Sabato Jr., who starred in the primetime series "Melrose Place" and daytime television series' such as "The Bold and the Beautiful" and "General Hospital," recently explained to Variety magazine how his support for President Donald Trump killed his acting career.
The 47-year-old Italian immigrant had an acting career that spanned 30 years, but after he openly declared his support for Trump during the 2016 election, the industry rejected him.
"I had to sell everything," Sabato said in a phone interview with Variety. "I had to pay all my debts. I was blacklisted. All my representatives left me, from agents to managers to commercial agents. I literally had to move, find a new job to survive and take care of my kids.
"It's been terrible. It's mind-blowing. It's a disgrace. It's tough, because if you're in that environment in Hollywood and you have something to say that they don't like, they're going to let you know," he added.
Sabato Jr., who immigrated from Italy to the United States in 1985 to work as a Calvin Klein model, said that after he spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2016, he could no longer line up any acting roles. Forced out of the industry, now he makes ends meet as a construction worker in Florida.
"I'm on the ground," Sabato reportedly told Variety when asked to describe his new life. "I go on the job at two in the morning, and I'm making sure that the job is controlled and supervised by me. I'm in the car all day, driving, going through all the sites. Five days a week, nonstop."
In an interview with People Magazine in 2016, Sabato Jr. described himself as neither a Republican or a Democrat — "I am an American," he said instead. The actor had voted for Bill Clinton twice in 1992 and 1996, but opposed Democratic President Barack Obama.
In 2016, Sabato Jr. was among the first in the national spotlight to come out in support of Trump, and he told Variety that despite the consequences for his career, he doesn't regret the decision at all.
"I was the first celebrity to come out and talk about the president, and he had my vote from day one," he said. "I was the first one to say he was going to win. My integrity is intact. What I believe in is still intact. What doesn't break you makes you stronger–that's what they say. So I'm stronger than ever, and I didn't have to lie about who I am."
He also suggested that there are many other Trump supporters in the entertainment industry, but they are scared to reveal their political opinions publicly.
"I know a lot of actors who are lying about who they're going to vote for because they don't want the crap," Sabato Jr. said. "They won't want to be talked about and fired from movie sets. This is serious."