Big Brother season 25 houseguest Luke Valentine is addressing his eviction after he was caught using the n-word on a Paramount+ live feed last week.
During an Instagram Live on Wednesday, the 30-year-old illustrator from Coral Springs, Florida responded to fan’s questions about his experience on CBS reality series and shared that he was “not upset at the production” for removing him from the show following the incident.
“Their hands were tied. They had to make a sacrifice, I understand why,” he said. “It is upsetting. I think they made the wrong decision. I think a slap on the wrist would have been a much better thing.”
He recalled the moment he learned that he was being evicted from Big Brother, saying, “They just wrapped me up and threw me in a room for seven hours. I spoke to HR and then they shipped me back home… It was devastating. It was very upsetting. It was very sad.”
Valentine added that he had “no malice” when using the racial slur, adding, “I had no ill intent. It was directed at Cory, and it was after about a week of malnutrition, a week of sleep deprivation, I was getting probably two-and-a half hours of sleep on that cheese block.”
“And you don’t really take into account the psychological distress of being under studio lighting for 24/7 and not knowing who your friends and who your enemies are,” he continued. “So what happened happened. Do I regret it? Obviously. But I feel like it happened for a reason.”
After being asked about why he didn’t seem to care about being removed from the show, he responded, “I care pretty deeply. It was very upsetting. It was shocking news. I slept like a baby that night. I had beautiful dreams of being on the show and then I woke up and they hit me with it.”
“It’s funny because they called me into the Diary Room, which they hadn’t done for a while and I said, ‘It’s so weird. It’s like getting called to the principal’s office, I feel like I’m in trouble,'” he recalled. “And little did I know I was in the most trouble possible.”
Valentine added that following his removal from the series, he wasn’t sure he would be staying in touch with his fellow houseguests.
“I’m not sure if anyone is going to want to keep in touch with me? At this point, apparently, I’m pretty radioactive,” he said. “As much as I love everybody on the show and I still do, they kind of have to hate me. Them’s the breaks.”
Valentine’s comments come after he seemingly made light of the incident and thanked fans for their support on his Instagram Story on Sunday.
“Hey, guys. Just letting you know, I’m alive, I’ve arrived and you gotta keep the flames stoked until next time,” he said. “We can’t burn out, no, no, no, the fires of love will continue to burn, baby.”
Luke added, “So thank you for all the memes, thank you for all the support, the kind words.”
The former contestant was caught using the N-word on a Paramount+ live feed on Aug. 9 while in conversation with fellow contestants Jared Fields, Cory Wurtenberger and Hisam Goueli. In the aftermath of his misconduct, CBS and Big Brother’s producers confirmed to PEOPLE that Luke had been removed from the house.
“Luke violated the Big Brother code of conduct and there is zero tolerance in the house for using a racial slur,” the statement read. “He has been removed from the house. His departure will be addressed in Thursday night’s show.”
Host Julie Chen Moonves addressed Valentine’s exit during Thursday’s episode, saying the cast learned of his eviction the night prior. “It was an emotional 24 hours in the Big Brother house as the houseguests learned that one of their own broke the Big Brother Code of Conduct and was removed from the game,” she said.
Valentine was then shown being called to a separate room where he learned of his eviction. After, fellow houseguest Reilly Smedley informed his castmates of the removal, adding, “[He] will no longer be participating in the Big Brother game. The game goes on and the live vote and eviction will go on as scheduled.”
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Big Brother airs Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.