Actor and failed GOP candidate Antonio Sabàto Jr. was one of the few–very few– Hollywood celebrities to publicly support Donald Trump in 2016. And while his candidate may have won, his career in Hollywood abruptly ended.
“I had to sell everything,” Sabàto tells Variety in a new interview. “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.”
The 47-year-old former Calvin Klein model continues, “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.”
In addition to bit parts on shows like Melrose Place and General Hospital, Sabàto appeared in a number of gay-themed films in the early 2000s.
His first was in 2003’s Testosterone where he played Pablo, a gay Argentine who disappears under mysterious circumstances. He spends half the movie in his underwear and even gets fully naked at one point:
He also appeared in 2005’s Deadly Skies, a made-for-TV piece of crap about an Air Force officer dismissed under the the homophobic “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. In it, Sabàto once against gets naked and has a graphic (by 2005 standards) gay sex scene with his boyfriend:
Oh, and then there was this mildly homoerotic underwear wrestling scene he appear in in 1996’s Codename: Wolverine:
Speaking to Variety, Sabàto says he had a contact for a reality show with ABC that was yanked after he threw his support behind Trump.
“They offered me a job and they pulled it,” he says. “I’ve been working as an actor for 30 years. I haven’t done anything else. I did very well for 30 years.”
He also had a major film project shelved.
“I was talking to a distribution company about producing a film that was set to go, and they told me to my face, ‘We will never distribute a movie with you in it because of your affiliation with the president,’” Sabàto recalls.
“The reality is the power that makes movies happen in Hollywood–casting directors, producers, executive producers, directors–they’re all liberal. They hate anyone or anything who supports this president.”
He continues, “I always hope there’s some serious people out there that want to hire me for my talent. I rarely talked politics on sets anyway. That’s the last thing I want to do.”
Today, Sabàto is doing construction work in Florida to make ends meet.
“I’m on the ground,” he says. “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.”
Despite losing, frankly, everything, Sabàto says he doesn’t regret backing Trump.
“I was the first celebrity to come out and talk about the president, and he had my vote from day one,” Sabàto says. “I was the first one to say he was going to win. My integrity is intact.”
His career, on the other hand, is another story.
Asked whether he’ll vote for Trump again in 2020, Sabàto replies, “Of course. I think he’ll be elected by 100 million votes.”