The Bachelorette alums are speaking out about Garrett Yrigoyen’s social media scandal that broke out just as the season began airing in May. The season’s winner liked multiple posts on Instagram that mocked immigrants, liberal women, accused the Parkland survivors of being crisis actors, among others.
Blake Horstmann, the season’s runner-up, admitted that he never saw this side of Yrigoyen at the time of filming the show. During his own hometown date, Hortsmann was open about his experience surviving a school shooting when he was in high school.
“That’s not the Garrett I knew in the house,” Blake Horstmann told US Weekly. “I’m sure he will learn from all of this and I trust Becca, I trust her decision, and I trust her character… I have not had the chance to talk to him, no, we have not communicated, since, you know, early in the journey… Maybe there will be a time in the future, but as of now, no. I’ll let them have their moment.”
Another former contestant, Colton Underwood, who went home just shy of the Fantasy Date week, spoke to Page Six about his support of the engagement. “In regards to who Garrett is, and I’m not defending his likes whatsoever, a lot of them were wrong, but that’s not who Garrett is, that does not define Garrett, and it should not overshadow their relationship,” Underwood said. “This is a time when they should be celebrating their engagement and being happy. He’s owned it, he’s apologized for it, he’s made his statement. I think people need to realize that. It’s a mistake, you live and you learn, and Garrett has definitely learned from this.”
The scandal was also addressed in last week’s Bachelorette finale, where Becca Kufrin and Yrigoren appeared together publicly for the first time since their engagement. The couple admitted that the scandal caused some tension during the early stages of their relationship, but that they worked to move past it.
“When I was liking things, it was going against what she stands for, and that made it really hard on us as a couple,” Yrigoyen said. “I was very worried about it, that I might lose her from that. But I felt she knew me as a person and that I didn’t stand behind those likes, and I was a better person than what I was presenting on my social media.”
Kufrin also stands by her decision despite not having much support from Bachelor Nation.
“I got to see who he is—his heart, his soul,” Kufrin said during the finale. “And the Instagram situation, I don’t condone that, and I know that he stands by his apology and he feels so bad for everyone that he did offend and he didn’t mean it. But I just want to move forward and to learn and to grow and to continue to educate ourselves.”