Former Bachelor and the second most hated man in America, Arie Luyendyk Jr., feels betrayed. He speaks out on being painted as the bad guy.
It's Just Not Fair
The reality star opened up in a new GQ profile about how fans targeted him unfairly following his controversial treatment of ex-fiance Becca Kufrin.
Now that he's done with the show, and with Kufrin's own season of The Bachelorette kicking off earlier this week, he is speaking more frankly about his time as The Bachelor.
Initially, following his onscreen dumping of Kufrin, the ex-Bachelor stood firm on his decision, particularly the idea of bringing the cameras along to capture the painful moment in its entirety.
Fans criticized Luyendyk Jr. heavily for his treatment of Kufrin. Billboards were erected to shame him for his behavior.
He chose Kufrin following much deliberation, even proposing to her on TV, only to decide, once filming wrapped, to return to Lauren Burnham. He then asked Burnham to marry him on the finale special, much to the vocal disgust of fans.
One Big Conspiracy
Luyendyk Jr. was harshly criticized for ending things with Kufrin on camera, especially as she was caught completely off guard by production. The lengthy sequence was broadcast "unedited" by ABC.
At the time, the reality star defended his decision to film the breakup in its entirety.
"I reached out to them and I said, 'This is what I want to do. And they said that it would be a good idea. And I agree with them because ultimately I wanted everyone to see that ... I was at fault," explained Luyendyk Jr. to THR.
In his new GQ profile, however, the race car driver completely backtracks on his previous statement, claiming he feels totally betrayed by the show's producers.
"It was completely edited. I was told to stay on that couch. I tried to leave, and then production was like, 'You need to go back inside'," he explained.
Luyendyk Jr. complains the production prevented him from leaving the property and says that they talked him into it off camera.
The ex-Bachelor added that claiming that the scene wasn't edited is a gross misrepresentation of what actually went down.
"Everyone makes me out to be the bad guy for filming it. ... People wouldn't be able to cope with the fact that she just got broken up with on television," he argues.
Luyendyk Jr. even believes that Kufrin was only cast on The Bachelorette out of pity for what she went through.
It All Worked Out For The Best
Bachelor host and producer Chris Harrison recently described Luyendyk Jr. as a "knucklehead" who made some stupid decisions during his time on the show.
Kufrin herself doubled down on ABC's position, confirming to ET that the infamous breakup scene definitely wasn't edited.
Luyendyk Jr. does acknowledge that everything worked out for the best in the end, as he and Burnham look forward to their wedding, which is scheduled for early next year, while Kufrin appears happily engaged following her time as the Bachelorette.
She confirmed the engagement last week, around the same time Luyendyk Jr. and Burnham announced their wedding date and venue. Although the timing is controversial, the happy couple claimed it was coincidental.