‘Survivor’ Michelle Yi Opens Up About Recent Attack

'Survivor's' Michelle Yi and the suspect apprehended in her attack, Alexandra Diaz

CBS, Santa Monica PD 'Survivor's' Michelle Yi and the suspect apprehended in her attack, Alexandra Diaz

“Survivor: Fiji” alum Michelle Yi was stabbed and beaten in Santa Monica, CA, on October 14 in what she believes was a racially motivated attack. A representative for the Santa Monica Police Department tells Heavy that Yi was the victim of an assault with a deadly weapon and the perpetrator has been taken into custody.

Yi is speaking out about the ordeal, saying that the attack has taken more of an emotional toll than a physical one. Here is what she had to say.

Yi Said the Attack ‘Was Really Awful’

In an interview with People, Yi detailed the attack, saying that it was just before 6 a.m. outside the pilates studio where she is a trainer when she noticed a disheveled woman yelling things like, “You stole my identity” and “You’re a prostitute.”

Yi approached the woman to tell her she needed to leave and the women stabbed her “in the left bicep” and then hit her in the hand and the face with a metal baton, splitting Yi’s eyebrow open.

Lt. Rudy Flores told Heavy that when officers arrived on the scene, an “erratic female” was taken into custody. She was later identified as 25-year-old Alexandra Diaz who was homeless and had been reported missing from Fresno, CA. Police contacted her family, and Flores told Heavy that Diaz is possibly mentally ill and off her medication. She has been charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon because there were two other victims prior to Yi’s attack. The rep also told Heavy that Yi was “poked” rather than “stabbed” and that there is “no indication” that this was a racially motivated crime. Diaz has not been charged with a hate crime.

Yi was taken to the hospital where she received several stitches. In Inside Pulse’s TV editor Murtz Jaffer’s original Twitter post that broke the news, Yi can be seen sporting stitches in her right eyebrow and a blackened eye.

Yi Told People the Attack Seemed Racially Motivated

In her interview with People, Yi said that she “can’t prove” that the attack was racially motivated, but Yi believes Diaz is a white woman who attacked three people of color and “the facts are what they are.”

“I can’t say why she attacked me, of all people. But she was a white lady who attacked three people that morning. Another victim was an elderly Asian man who was walking his dog, and the third was also a person of color. I can’t prove whether it was racially motivated or not, but she was screaming all sorts of awful things at me. The facts are what they are,” said Yi.

Yi said it was “a really lonely place to be” after the attack because none of her family lives nearby.

“My parents are in Taiwan. My siblings live up in the Bay Area. So it was a really lonely place to be,” said Yi, adding, “It was really awful. It was dark when this happened. I hope that police will have more protections during the hours that we need them most. Physically, I’m on the mend. Emotionally, it’s harder, but I should be OK.”

Yi competed on “Survivor” season 14, “Survivor: Fiji,” where she finished in 10th place after a post-merge twist sent her out of the game quite suddenly.

After news of the attack broke, fellow “Survivor” contestants were quick to offer Yi words of support, including two-time player Peih-Gee Law, who wrote on Twitter, “Anti-Asian hate crime against fellow Asian ‘Survivor’ player Michelle Yi in Santa Monica. I’m absolutely horrified. I’m so sorry this happened to you.”

“Survivor” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on CBS. The 42nd season will air in the spring of 2022. Seasons 43 and 44 are casting now, so if you’ve always wanted to apply, now is your chance!

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