After Below Deck Sailing Yacht’s Epic Reunion, Dani Soares Gets Candid About Raising Newborn Daughter Alone

screenshot dani soares below deck sailing yacht reunion
(Image credit: Bravo)

For weeks, Bravo fans were teased that the Below Deck Sailing Yacht reunion special would hold all the answers to the state of Dani Soares and Jean Luc Cerza Lanaux's romance and if he was the father of her baby, who was born earlier this month. We did get some astounding answers, including Soares’ assertion that Jean-Luc was indeed the father but wanted nothing to do with their daughter. Jean-Luc gave his side of things later on, in a separate special. Following the epic back-and-forth, Soares is getting more candid about raising the newborn by herself.

In a Q&A on her Instagram stories, Dani Soares talked particularly about the hardships of single motherhood. The Brazilian-native lives in Australia, leagues away from her family and close friends, and the country is also currently under COVID-19 lockdown. So for the most part, no one in or out. Soares said:

I think we don't always share how hard it is. We just see the perfect pictures on Instagram. It's been really, really hard in the first couple of weeks with breastfeeding and being alone... I'm terrible at asking for help because for the past 11 years I've basically just been on my own and making my own decisions. But you do need help. You do need as much help as you can get. It's just really hard. But I'm getting smiles now so that makes everything worth it. Honestly, when you look at their little faces, it's just ridiculous. It's okay. It's okay if I only sleep two hours at night, it's fine. It's okay if I never put on makeup anymore or straighten my hair. It's fine.

Below Deck Sailing Yacht’s Dani Soares has also experienced other struggles, as she raises newborn daughter Lilly alone. Her mother can’t be there yet, due to financial reasons. Also, since she's been living in Australia for under a year, she apparently didn't qualify for maternity leave and will have to go back to work next month in order to provide. Lilly will have to go to childcare while her mother works, which Soares said was “so sad.” However, the reality star claims to love the country and said she wouldn't leave Australia “for any reason.”

When asked for advice on single motherhood, Dani Soares urged women to ensure they had “a support system around.” It seemed like a pointed reference to the situation with Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux. He backed up most of Soares’ account of what transpired but claimed he wanted to be part of the baby's life. He also confirmed that he wanted a paternity test done, which is impossible to do jointly at the moment because of Australia’s borders being closed.

So far as we know from the Below Deck Sailing Yacht reunion and social media, Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux hasn't physically seen the baby yet and only found out about the birth on Instagram. The only update Dani Soares gave during her Q&A about their relationship seemed to be in the form of subtle jabs at her former co-star and ex-boatmance. She said:

My favorite thing was definitely all the friends that I made. Alli, Natasha, Daisy, Colin, Sydney, everybody you know? …Almost everybody. My least favorite thing is having to share so many personal things that are personal, and I would like to keep it private but because you're on TV, you end up having to share a lot of things.

Jean-Luc Cerza Lanaux faced a backlash online during and after the revelations on the Below Deck Sailing Yacht reunion, even from some of his other co-stars. Mostly, though, spectators wondered why he was questioning the paternity in the first place while simultaneously saying he wanted “everything to do” with the baby, given the timeline of events. The reality show reportedly filmed between July and September, and Dani Soares’ baby was born at the end of May. During filming, the castmates were not allowed to leave the boat recreationally due to quarantine restrictions, and Soares was only ever seen romantically with Jean-Luc.

Along with going to school to become a nurse, Dani Soares said she will raise Lilly to be "a good person" and will "make sure she takes personal responsibility for her actions." Needless to say, Soares holds some strong feelings towards Jean-Luc.

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.