“I don’t want America to hate him,” Hannah Brown told Jimmy Kimmel immediately after “The Bachelorette” finale aired Tuesday, in which viewers learned her final choice and eventual fiancé, Jed Wyatt, actually had a girlfriend the entire time the show was filming.
Understandably, the news rocked Brown as much as it did Bachelor Nation and she decided she couldn’t marry, well, a liar. So she ended their engagement.
Despite her anger, however, she’s been respectful toward Wyatt and saddened over their post-show experience. He, on the other hand, has shown that his on-air apology on the “After the Final Rose” special might not have been entirely genuine. This week, he was caught “liking” unsavory posts about Brown, one of which read: “Honestly I’m not quite sure why everyone hates on Jed so hard… Hannah was sleeping with several people throughout the season and he has to deal with that in her past… just like she needs to get over his. Like come on. It’s a television show I wouldn’t expect to fall in love either.”
“Newsflash, I dated 30 guys at one time, so I didn’t have a ‘secret boyfriend,’” a snarky Brown told HuffPost during a Build Series interview on Wednesday. “He knew I had a boyfriend, but I broke up with him before I got engaged.”
Asked how she felt about Wyatt favoriting negative posts about their relationship, Brown stated, “Well, I don’t really follow Jed, so,” before adding, “He’s hurt in this too and, yeah, it might be because of his own doings, but I know he did care about me. It’s easy to justify things when you’re hurting, so maybe that’s what he’s doing. But, I don’t know, I wish him well.”
After sending home runner-up Tyler Cameron and accepting Wyatt’s proposal in May, Brown thought she had found her “Mr. Right.” But a day after they returned home from their engagement in Greece, Wyatt, an aspiring musician, told Brown he had been “hanging out” with a girl back in Nashville prior to the show.
“He told me if anything came out, they were just hanging out,” Brown told us. “And I asked him, ‘Well, did you end it? This is frustrating,’ because the very first night I was like, ‘Who else has girlfriends? We got to get you out.’ So I tried to trust him in that, but I didn’t know the extent of that until everyone else found out. I found out with the world over a People magazine article.”
In June, Haley Stevens gave an interview to People about her relationship with Wyatt and revealed they exchanged “I love yous” before he left for Los Angeles.
“He told me [the show] was just an obstacle and we’d be stronger on the other side because of it,” Stevens said, adding that Wyatt was adamant he was only doing the show to further his career.
“My heart was completely pulling away from him in that moment,” Brown said of reading the People story. “There was really no going back after that.”
As for her love life now, Brown is hoping for another chance with fan-favorite Cameron, whom she asked out for drinks during “After the Final Rose.” Although he was technically her “second choice,” Brown doesn’t see it that way, admitting, “I’d been struggling with that decision for a while. I loved both of them and I chose the safer choice when I look back at it.”
Of course, she’d love to see if there are still romantic sparks between them, but a friendship with Cameron would be great, too.
“I’m truly excited to have drinks with him so that we can just talk about what the crap we just went through because nobody can really understand what it’s like and we went through that experience together,” Brown told HuffPost. “I want to be a part of his life in some capacity that we both feel like we are happy and can continue striving for our happiness and future success. Whatever that is, I am all on board with that.”
When pressed further on what she’d like to tell Cameron, Brown said, “I kind of want to save that for just him and I. A lot of our life and relationship has been for you guys to see, but I think after what we’ve both been through I can just keep some things just for him and not for other people to know. But ultimately, I know I have somebody who will always be my biggest fan and my biggest cheerleader and I’m really just thankful for Tyler. I know he says that I made him who he is today, but he’s definitely been a part of supporting me to be the strong woman that I am.”
Watch the full Build Series interview with Hannah Brown below.