Daniel and Lesley were one of Tool Academy 3‘s most entertaining–and most violent–couples. Seeing them leave this week was a bummer not only because we’d miss seeing Daniel’s glow-sticking and artwork, but because the couple had a child together. Their breakup at the end of the episode was real — Lesley told me she was too upset to talk about it this week, but in this interview, Daniel talks about being single, taking Lesley’s punches, and why he thought Trina was so hot.
What’s your relationship like with Lesley now?
We keep in touch, we talk, but it’s not a relationship and it’s definitely not what it used to be. We are single people now. We live in our own houses and everything. But we do have a kid together and we see each other when it comes to dealing with family things like that.
So when you ended things on the show, that was it.
Oh, no. When we came home we obviously still lived together for a little bit, but we had our own rooms and we were single. She eventually moved out. We’re moving on. We’re living our separate lives at this point.
After seeing the episode, did you regret fighting with Lesley over her talk with Kyle?
I felt bad for how I exploded and some things I’ve said. I mean, it was just out of anger. I immediately regretted saying them. I didn’t mean it. I was under the perception that my girlfriend didn’t know how to act in the house with another dude, but apparently there was nothing going down, but I didn’t know it at the time and I just, I don’t know…That is kind of why it went down the way it did.
You weren’t the only person who had a problem with Kyle.
Yeah, I think there’s definitely some beef towards Kyle between a couple of guys in the house like myself, Jacob and Angelo. But I mean, it’s our girlfriends over there. We can’t see what they’re doing. We were just jealous. I mean, if we didn’t care it wouldn’t bother us, you know?
In the last episode you hinted that Lesley had some issues of her own that weren’t being addressed. What did you mean?
Different things we’ve dealt with in the past. Every relationship isn’t perfect — obviously I was the Tool, she brought me there. We couldn’t really talk about her that much. It was just nothing in particular I was referring to, just some things that had happened in the past that were some red flags that I could put out there while we were talking about me.
Did you mean cheating? Because the pool scene made Lesley seem like the most conservative person in the house.
Right. No. Honestly, not cheating. It wasn’t nothing like that.
Why wait until you were on Tool Academy to tell Lesley that you weren’t in love with her anymore?
Our relationship has kind of been on the rocks like several months prior to Tool Academy, several months before the show. I just learned that nothing changed in 10 years, we got to do something. Somebody’s got to do something. We got to move on. You know?
So Tool Academy was just the last chance for your relationship, a last resort.
Yeah, that’s not an understatement. You could say that definitely it’s sort of the last resort and we knew that if that wasn’t going to work, nothing was going to work. I thought the therapy was going to work, but not for us. We just…I don’t know, some damage is irreversible.
You two certainly got into the most physical confrontations.
Yeah, yeah. I’d say so. Getting smacked in the face kinda was the highlight reel that [second] day, I’d have to say. I didn’t see it coming. I heard it before I even felt it. So she got me. And then the third episode, when she threw a blow and it looked like I blocked it, that actually hit. That was a closed fist blow and it hit me in the jaw. I felt it for two days.
It seemed like a few of the guys, especially Jordan, were sad to see you leave.
I was choked up when I was leaving. Everything on the show is therapy or challenges. That’s where you sit around and talk about important s*** and you become homies. We had drinks, we played chess, we did a lot of things a lot that went on in there and I miss that ever since.
It was like seeing lightning before you hear the thunder.
If she had done this before I would be used to it and be ready. But it was explosive. It not only hurt me because she smacked me around but I was shocked like you know she just tried to hit me in the face.
You think Tool Academy helped, even if you’re not with Lesley anymore?
I learned a lot about myself. I need to mature a little bit and get out there I need to grow up become experienced. I need to you know just take care of my priorities. Right. Taking care of my family, bringing in an income number one.
Have you found a job yet?
No, I’ve been working hardcore but the results have not been very positive yet. So I’m still working on that, you know?
Have you stopped going to raves?
I probably go to raves like every weekend.
How about glow-sticking?
I glow-stick every day. I am single now so I tend to do what I want. It’s just more practical now that I’m not pissing anybody off when I go out to rave parties every weekend you know?
Now, on your first day in the Tool Academy, your initial reaction to therapy was: “Trina is hot.”
Yeah. Trina, she’s got a hot, mature thing going on.
You know she was a model before she was a therapist.
Oh, wow. It’s like she’s got not just the body but the brains to go with it!
And the accent.
The accent is very important. Whenever Trina was talking I just got images of Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. It sounds like her. Like she might [someday] say, “Careful there Dan, you found my relic,” with that accent. It’s beautiful.