A former reality star defended her decision to escape Hurricane Irma by private jet after she was slammed on social media for posting a picture of her and her family posing in front of the plane.
In the photo, she and her husband, plastic surgeon Leonard Hochstein, and their 2-year-old son Logan are seen smiling in front of the plane with their two dogs.
The photo drew jeers from a number of commenters, including Hochstein’s former co-star Joanna Krupa.
“All those A——- posting and showing off w their private jets in Miami, why don’t u offer help families and animals that can’t get out?” Krupa wrote on Twitter. “Otherwise stop posting and showing off when people and animals are being left behind during this catastrophic hurricane. Idiots!”
In response to the criticism, Hochstein updated the caption on her Instagram post, explaining the family’s decision to charter a plane.
“EVERYONE IS POSTING ON SM about how they escaped! This happens to be mine and I don’t need to apologize or hide to ANYONE ABOUT HOW WE DO SO,” Hochstein said, adding that other passengers were on the flight.
“We also did not have paper work for our dogs to fly commercial as every vet was closed and every flight was booked and there is no way in hell we would leave them behind,” she continued. “Fortunately we were able to get a plane to take them with us.”
Hochstein explained that the family made a last-minute decision to evacuate.
“We weren’t originally going to leave partly because of the dogs and a few other things….and waited until the last minute when we realized that this thing wasn’t slowing down which definitely made it difficult to get out,” she said. “We did not want to risk it with our little angel Logan.”
She also defended their decision to let friends stay at their home while they evacuated.
“And YES we let some friends stay at our home because it’s a little safer then theirs! They will be fine!!!” she wrote. “Material things can be replaced lives cannot. #staysafe.”
Some commenters agreed with Hochstein’s actions.
“Who cares how your family got out of Miami as long as you got out? Keep doing what you do, don’t listen to the noise. Logan is lucky to have such wonderful parents,” one person wrote.
“Thank you for treating your animals like part of the family,” another wrote.