A botched prank on the ‘Queer Eye’ set injured Jonathan Van Ness and threatened to reveal his HIV-positive status before he’d told anyone

Bobby Berk, left, and Jonathan Van Ness.

Bobby Berk, left, and Jonathan Van Ness.
David Livingston / Getty Images
  • “Queer Eye’s” Bobby Burk once ran over Jonathan Van Ness’ foot on a mechanic’s dolly on the set of Netflix’s “Queer Eye.”
  • Van Ness tells the painful story in his newly-released memoir, “Over the Top.”
  • Burk was trying to frighten his costar by rolling out from beneath a truck and grabbing him by the ankles.
  • However, Van Ness writes that the prank gone wrong lifted his toenail like an “open garage door” and began to bleed.
  • Van Ness said the injury became both a medical issue due to his HIV-positive status and a privacy one since he had yet to reveal his disease.
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In Jonathan Van Ness’ newly-released memoir “Over the Top,” the grooming expert shares his proclivity for pranking his “Queer Eye” colleague Bobby Berk, which took a painful turn when Berk tried to get payback.

During the filming of episode eight on the Netflix makeover show’s first season where the Fab Five visit the Covington Fire Department in Georgia, Berk recruited some firefighters to lure his costar over to a fire truck.

When Van Ness got there, Berk flew out of from the undercarriage on a mechanic’s dolly and grabbed his costar by the ankles.

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Berk was apparently laughing for some time before he realized that he’d just ran over Van Ness’ sandaled foot, which was still trapped under the dolly.

“When he got up and I moved the dolly off my foot, my big toenail was lifted up like an open garage door,” Van Ness described.

Van Ness came out as HIV-positive in his new memoir.

Van Ness came out as HIV-positive in his new memoir.

With his foot bleeding, he also wrote that he was concerned about people touching him because of his HIV status, which is the book’s biggest revelation.

Van Ness has said that his medication ensures a low chance of spreading HIV to others, which means he can lead a normal, happy life, but he still didn’t want to tell anyone about it at the time, he wrote.

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Luckily, his mom was visiting the set that day, and was on hand to calm her son down and take him home.

Van Ness adds that on episode one of the second season, he can be seen wearing flip flops and a big bandage around his toe, which wouldn’t fit into regular shoes.

“Over the Top” was released on Tuesday.

Read more:

‘Queer Eye’ star Jonathan Van Ness describes the day he collapsed in his hair salon and learned he was HIV positive

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