11 Biggest Scandals in Bachelor Nation: A Look Back in History
The Bachelor franchise regularly implodes with scandals — but some of the most interesting have happened off-screen.
If you want to review outrageous on-air moments like Jason Mesnick dumping Melissa Rycroft or Rozlyn Papa being accused of an “inappropriate” relationship with a producer, here’s a whole list. It could go on and on!
This time, we’re looking at the behind-the-scenes stuff that’s arguably juicier — and sometimes sadder — than anything edited for TV. Click through for a look back at some of the defining moments of this dys-fun-ctional family.
1) Mary Delgado's Arrests
Mary Delgado was an interesting success story before she became an unlikely mug shot staple. She had been a contestant on Bob Guiney's The Bachelor Season 4 but returned to try again on Byron Velvick's Season 6. It worked out for Mary the second time, and she and Byron got engaged. Even by 2004, fans were used to quick Bachelor breakups, but Mary and Byron surprised everyone.
They ended up staying together for five years, with the big shocker being that time she got arrested for punching him in the face. That was in 2007, but they stayed together until 2009. Unfortunately, in 2008 she was arrested for public drunkenness, and in 2010, she was arrested a third time, this time for driving under the influence.
2) Brad Womack's Other Women
Brad Womack is known for choosing himself at the end of Season 11. According to rumors, the real reason Brad didn't pick anyone is because he wanted to choose Bettina Bell, but her difficult hometown date ruined everything. "Brad was really into Bettina, who made it to the final four," a source told E! at the time. "But when he went to visit her parents, Bettina's father was so awful to him, Brad knew it wouldn't work. So, he was just sort of over the whole thing."
Bettina later told Life & Style she was dating Brad but he dumped her just before returning to The Bachelor for Season 15. Chris Harrison denied it, saying if it had been true they would've brought her on the show as a surprise for great TV. Then again, they didn't bring Laurel Kagay on the show, and she was basically the official Other Woman of The Bachelor franchise. Laurel was called out by name as Wes Hayden's girlfriend on The Bachelorette Season 5, and then as Brad's girlfriend before Season 15. Laurel told Us Weekly that Brad proposed to her before going on Season 15, which Brad strongly denied.
3) Jesse Csincsak's YouTube Announcement
After DeAnna Pappas had her heart broken by Brad on The Bachelor Season 11, she was a natural choice for the next Bachelorette. She picked snowboarder Jesse Csincsak and they not only got engaged, they revealed a wedding date of May 9, 2009. However, they had a sudden split in November 2008.
DeAnna shared the news with In Touch Weekly, then Jesse took to YouTube to share his side with fans. "DeAnna broke up with me two days ago and I just wanted to come on here and tell you guys face to face that I'm sorry," Jesse said, looking like Dad telling the kids he and Mom were getting a divorce.
"I did everything in my power to try and make this work. [...] The answer that I got was 'I love you, but I'm not in love with you.' That's a lot to swallow, no matter who you are."
4) Kasey Kahl's Legal Troubles
Kasey Kahl first attempted to guard and protect Ali Fedotowsky’s heart, then became half of a Bachelor Pad 2 power couple with then-girlfriend Vienna Girardi. Kasey’s always seemed like a passionate guy, but it was shocking when he was arrested after a bar fight in Fresno, CA in January 2012.
Kasey claimed he was acting in self-defense; he ultimately pled no contest to a felony assault charge as part of a plea deal. He was sentenced to three years probation and community service, and his lawyer said charges could be expunged if he complied with all rules. There was an erroneous paint thinner abuse allegation that was accidentally applied to his initial charges, then revealed to be a police error. But maybe the most surprising thing about the case was how adorable his happy mug shot looked.
5) Ed Swiderski's Other Women
There were rumors about Ed’s extracurricular activities, which dominated all theories about this particular split. Ed left Jillian’s season part-way through to return to work in Chicago. Tabloid rumors suggested his work also included sleeping with other women.
Over a year after the breakup, Wetpaint Entertainment asked Ed if any of the tabloid rumors were true. "Yeah, I mean, I won’t get into the details but I can definitely say I was living my life as a bachelor,” he said.
After they broke up, Jillian took to her website to explain some of what went wrong. "I admit all the attention random girls gave Ed was hard on me. He loved the attention and that isn't easy on a relationship that is supposed to be so serious, yet is still so fresh. The more insecure and upset I became, the more he loved the attention and it became a really slippery slope. I lost trust in him and in the end we both really lost interest in making it work."
6) Emily Maynard's Sexting Scandal
Us Weekly reported in 2012 that Emily Maynard had been sexting another guy — footballer Matt Leinart — while still engaged to Jef Holm. Jef supposedly found the texts on Em’s phone while they were on a family vacation in South Carolina, and they reportedly had a huge fight. Team JEM put up a united front to deny the rumors, and when they eventually split, they said it wasn’t from either one of them cheating.
“Everyone wants a salacious story to break, but the truth is we are just two people who fell in love and tried our hardest to make it work,” Jef said in a statement. “I will always love her."
7) Racial Discrimination Lawsuit
After 31 collective seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, there have still only been a handful of African-American contestants, and none have been rose-givers themselves.
In 2012, a class action lawsuit was filed accusing the show of excluding people of color from lead roles. Ultimately, a judge ruled that the plaintiffs efforts were "laudable," but casting decisions were protected by the First Amendment.
One of the defendants, Warner Horizon Television, told CNN they’ve had "various participants of color throughout the series' history, and the producers have been consistently — and publicly — vocal about seeking diverse candidates for both programs. As always, we continue to seek out participants of color for both 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette.'"
8) Reality Steve Sued
The phenomenon of spoiling The Bachelor and The Bachelorette has changed this show in a huge way for many viewers. It started back in Jason Mesnick’s season when Reality Steve got intel about Jason’s big decision. Since then, the seasons have been spoiled, mostly with accuracy, and fans have taken sides on the issue of how much they want to know in advance. Producers ended up suing Reality Steve — twice — first in December 2011 when they alleged that he attempted to “induce contestants into breaching their confidentiality pledges” to get spoilers.
That lawsuit was settled and Steve said he would still spoil the show but abide by the agreement. But producers later sued him again, alleging he continued to go after confidential information from Bachelor folks, and breached the agreement.
Steve called the suit bogus, telling The Hollywood Reporter in January 2013, "The suit was brought in violation of the settlement agreement I previously reached with the producers of the Bachelor series. That agreement does NOT prevent me from publishing spoilers. The producers have provided no proof that I did anything in violation of our agreement because there is none. They just seek to put me out of business by intimidation and litigation costs. I am currently exploring my legal options, including a counterclaim." The suit was dismissed in 2013.
9) Shayne Lamas Calls Matt Grant Gay
Shayne Lamas and Matt Grant were pretty much doomed from the start. The British Bachelor thought his cute little "Monkey" was the perfect Hollywood dream girl — and she was even an actress from a famous family. But Matt put Shayne on blast during E!’s The Bachelor: Then & Now special in 2010.
“Did I find true love on the show?" Matt said. "Um, no. Not one little bit. I proposed to a woman who was about a foot and a half shorter than me, who had nothing in common with me and thought there were palm trees in London. Did I make a mistake? Yes. Did I look like an idiot? Yes. Do I regret it? A little bit.”
Shayne did not appreciate that. A month after the special aired, she tweeted a note saying, “Here is the real reason Matt Grant is not on The Bachelor Pad.” At that link was a blog post titled “Don’t Give Roses To A Scorpio," which included this section: "Matt milks his Bachelor experience whenever he can and is always trying to give a shock value type of answer so his name will stay in the press. What I don’t understand is why Matt hasn’t finally confessed that he is gay and the very first Gay Bachelor. Matt, your confession would be more press worthy than trying to ride my coattails. I am happily married so let it go. If only ABC would let him tell the truth about his sexuality, all parties involved would win.“
Her blog post has since been deleted, but it left a lot of fans confused. Was she just joking out of anger? It’s kind of a low blow either way.
10) Juan Pablo Galavis's "I Love You" Gate
Juan Pablo Galavis really beated to his own drum the entire season of Bachelor 18...especially when it came to the final rose ceremony.
JPG left fans up in arms when he didn’t propose to Nikki Ferrell or tell her he loved her. Instead, he said he "liked her a lot" and asked her out. As in, boyfriend, girlfriend, dating status.
Well, it's what happened after the show that really threw fans into a tizzy, when Juan and Nikki continuously explained how he would not say I love you, even though she says it to him. Hey, to each their own, right?
The two ended up going on Couples Therapy in 2014 — another scandalous move — and then broke up that same year.
11) Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth's Spoiler Snapchat
Even if you don't follow Bachelor/Bachelorette spoilers, you definitely heard about the Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth's Snapchat spoiler scandal.
Before Kait's Bachelorette Season 11 finale even aired, she took to Snapchat and posted a video of her and Shawn in bed together. That is definitely not part of her ABC contract!
Fans were left wondering if the snap meant Shawn won the whole season — spoiler alert, he did! — or if producers were trying to throw everyone off.
Kaitlyn admitted once the finale aired that she didn't mean to send the snap to so many people...whoops!