Captain Lee and Carl Radke’s Friendship Explained

Captain Lee and Carl Radke's friendship explained.
Photo Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty Images

When we are little, our friendships tend to form by pure happenstance, deriving mostly from our shared classrooms, clubs, or even the locations of our homes. As we grow, however, our mindsets on who we allow into our personal spaces typically change. We begin seeking out those with similar values, personalities, and also, dare I say it, shared traumas. Bravo stars are no different than us on this, as Captain Lee Rosbach and Carl Radke have proven.

That said, there is an age gap between these two. Also, they starred in totally different shows on Bravo. And yet, these two still bonded, and a friendship was formed in the year of 2020.

So how exactly did this kinship happen? And what does a 74-year-old Below Deck alum have in common with a 39-year-old Summer House star? Also, are they still close these days? Let’s dive in.

How their friendship first began

In the year of 2019, Captain Lee lost his son to a tragic overdose. For twenty long years before his passing, Joshua Lee Rosbach had been battling an opioid addiction. His dependency first formed after an accident, which left him in the hospital for a while. Here, he received pain medications, which he then found himself unable to cease taking.

The following year, Curtis Radke, Carl’s brother, also passed away from an accidental drug overdose. When this news broke, Captain Lee reached out, knowing exactly what this massive loss must felt like for Carl. Immediately, these men formed a bond, because nothing brings two people closer together than their shared life experiences. No matter how dark they might be.

On a 2021 taping of Watch What Happens Live, Carl reflected on Captain’s Lee first point of contact. “We share kind of a similar story,” he began, adding “My brother and his son passed from addiction. [Lee] reached out to me last year during a really hard time, and having someone else from the Bravo family reach out meant a lot. Especially Captain Lee, who, I mean, he’s a legend, and also he’s a male figure, so I think coming from him, it was super important.”

I love a good DM story. Especially one that involves a touching subject matter, not a subject matter that someone wants you to touch.

What Captain Lee and Carl have said about the other

On that same episode of WWHL, host Andy Cohen asked Carl who the first person he confided in was, in regards to sharing his then-emerging feelings for his Summer house costar Lindsay Hubbard. “I had actually talked to Captain Lee early on,” he shared, adding, “I think he laid the groundwork for me to really feel confident in wanting to move forward with Lindsay.”

At this point, Captain Lee and Carl had never actually met each other in person. This all changed at BravoCon in 2022. During their meetup, they snapped a sweet photo together, which Carl later shared online, to help him acknowledge Captain Lee’s birthday. “Thank you for your kindness, warmth, strength, and guidance. I’m so fortunate to have you as a friend,” Carl penned to the BD alum.

At this same event, Andy asked Captain Lee a fan question, wondering whether or not he would be the one to officiate Carl’s then-wedding to Lindsey. “I am absolutely considering officiating his wedding. I would be honored to do that,” the captain answered. He also explained that it was great to finally see Carl in real time, noting that he gave “him a big hug, and [said], ‘It’s gonna be OK. We’re gonna get through it.’”

Their pulled podcast episode

Recently on his podcast, Captain Lee let us all know that this friendship wasn’t doing so well right now. Following Carl’s broken engagement, Captain Lee invited his buddy onto his podcast, to share his story. However, this podcast never aired. Carl nixed the entire thing.

“I’m going to say something. Carl and I used to be close,” Captain Lee began. “I gave Carl an opportunity to be on the podcast and tell it as he saw it. [If] there was a question he wanted taken off, we took it off. If there was something he didn’t want to answer, we didn’t put him on the spot,” he explained.

Captain Lee also made sure to note that he “didn’t hang” Carl “up to dry — it was a softball interview if I have ever seen one. Because I never would have done anything intentionally to put Carl on the spot.” Even still, things fell apart after this taping.

“Usually we release a tease on Tuesday, which we did. Then I got a phone call from Carl and he just went off on how I was taking advantage of him and trying to put him on the spot,” Captain Lee claimed. “His publicist was there — as was mine. I was blown away. I don’t know what made him go off the way he went or what he was thinking,” he further lamented.

Even still, Captain Lee placed the feelings of his friend over his podcast. “I told him he didn’t want it aired so we didn’t… So Mr. Radke, you were not deceived by me,” Captain Lee ended.

A final word from Captain Lee

In speaking to US Weekly, Captain Lee noted that he still has not spoken to Carl. “He’s been pretty busy,” he explained. On this, consider me sad.