Hindsight is 20/20 for Jeff Lewis.
The former Flipping Out star, 49, revealed on Wednesday’s episode of his Sirius XM radio show Jeff Lewis Live that he shouldn’t have even pushed to get his 2½-year-old daughter Monroe Christine into the Montessori preschool she was recently expelled from — admitting that enrolling her in the elite institution “became about my ego.”
“I thought, ‘My daughter got in this really prestigious school that everybody is trying to get into,'” Lewis said, adding that he had to jump through a number of hoops and lobby with other parents to even get into the school.
“It became more about me than my daughter. And I always knew it was a good school but I think what I should have done is really considered her and what was best for her,” he said. “I don’t think that particular environment, in hindsight, was best for her.”
Lewis broke the news of Monroe’s expulsion on his radio show on Tuesday, explaining that administrators had decided to kick Monroe out after they heard negative comments Lewis made about the school on his radio show.
Those included criticisms Lewis shared about a recent “Back to School Night” for parents and a remark about the mother of another student, who he said looked like a woman who would go to a key party. Lewis had also read two internal emails from parents, and mocked them (without using their full names) on the air.
Though he stood by his complaints about the preschool, telling listeners that the politics of the institution drove him crazy, Lewis said he felt remorse for what happened to Monroe.
“I do think I was in the wrong,” he said on Wednesday. “I shouldn’t have publicly put the school on blast.”
“Part of this show is me being completely and totally honest and vulnerable with my listeners. … I came on the air and I vented and a lot of people related to it. However, I did not consider the damage that was going to occur as a result of my actions and I certainly didn’t mean for my daughter to be collateral damage,” Lewis continued.
“I’m a self-destructive person,” he shared. “Moving forward, I will be very, very careful — especially when it comes to her — about vocalizing anything that goes on in her school. I have learned my lesson. For her, I will protect her.”
Previously, Lewis had noted that the Montessori wasn’t the right fit for Monroe.
“I picked the wrong school,” he said on Tuesday. “Next time, I’m going to trust my gut. I felt like the school was too regimented, too structured. I think, it’s not a college prep course. It’s preschool.”
“Everyone takes themselves so seriously at that school,” he continued. “I think these people are arrogant, they’re pretentious… I don’t want Monroe to be in a strict school with overachievers and massive homework. She has her whole life to be stressed out. It’s preschool, let her be a kid and have fun.”
As for Monroe, Lewis said on Wednesday that he and his ex partner Gage Edward — who split in January after dating for 10 years and only recently came to a temporary custody agreement — would be looking for a new school for Monroe.
“It’s probably going to be difficult,” Lewis said, noting that the media attention had only made things worse. “So many people reporting on this. It’s absurd, it’s ridiculous, it’s silly, but I think all these people are relating to it. … I was expecting more hate than I got.”
Jeff Lewis Live airs weekdays (12 p.m. ET) on SiriusXM Radio Andy (Ch. 102).