(Variety) Antonio Sabato Jr. was one of the few actors who publicly supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election. His candidate won, but his career in Hollywood ended.
“I had to sell everything,” Sabato reveals in a phone interview with Variety from his new home in Florida. “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.”
Despite a 30-year career as an actor, Sabato claims he couldn’t line up any new roles after the election. He alleges that he was cut from a reality TV competition series because of his political beliefs. In 2018, he attempted an unsuccessful run for a congressional seat in California, where he was defeated by a Democrat.
Shortly after that, at 47, Sabato decided to relocate to Florida, where he now works long days in construction.
“I’m on the ground,” Sabato says 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.”
Since the ’90s, Sabato has appeared in dozens of TV shows, including the primetime hit “Melrose Place” and daytime soap operas “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “General Hospital.” He’s starred in more than 40 movies, many of which went straight to TV but still provided him with a steady paycheck.
But his decision to back Trump was a defining point for him, both politically and professionally, one he says he doesn’t regret.