Courtney Robertson, the 28 year-old model widely considered to be this season’s Bachelor frontrunner, has been getting hated on a lot these days. Onscreen, Bachelor star Ben Flajnik appears besotted with her, leading the other contestants to slam her. Off-screen, friends of her most famous ex-boyfriend, actor Jesse Metcalf, have been saying she’s only interested in guys who can help her get famous. Another supposed ex, who was too cowardly to reveal his name, anonymously posted on the website Cheaterville.com, claiming Courtney has big problems staying faithful.
Now, however, her most long-term ex, high school sweetheart Chris Slawson, is speaking out. A successful chef currently based in West Palm Beach, Florida, he owns the restaurant Christopher’s Kitchen, an eatery that is animal-free due to Slawson’s passion for healthy living. (His motto: When you eat right, it makes a difference in every part of your life.) Speaking first and exclusively to Wetpaint Entertainment, he shares his thoughts on the real Courtney Robertson.
Wetpaint Entertainment: How and when did you and Courtney meet?
Chris Slawson: We met in Phoenix back in 2002 when she was a senior in high school and I was a college freshman. We were friends first and then, because we were attracted to each other, we started dating.
When did you two split?
We dated on and off for the next seven years. We split for good in 2009, but it wasn’t bitter. It was very understanding breakup. I needed to go to New York to pursue my career and she was doing what she needed to do for hers. We both just realized we needed to focus on ourselves. We’re still friends, though, we still talk.
Have you spoken to her since the show started airing?
Yes. She’s upset about all the nasty things being said about her, but she’s trying to stay positive. I didn't come out and ask her, but it sounds like she won. All these girls are hating on her, so you've got to put two and two together. It's not hard to figure out why.
How did she tell you she was going on the show?
She called and told me. She had very mixed emotions about it. But in the end, she was like, ‘I’m young and I should probably take advantage of all the opportunities that come my way.’
What do you think of the people who say she only did the show for the fame?
I’ve known her longer than most people and I can tell you, she’s not a girl that’s looking to get famous. She’s a romantic. She legitimately went on it to meet someone, to hopefully meet ‘The One.’
Another supposed ex of hers went online and basically called her a serial cheater…
Ridiculous. She’s the most loyal girlfriend any guy could dream of having. She’s completely respectful. We never had any issues like that. These guys, they need to chill out. You can be dating someone, but if you’re not locked in or exclusive with them, you can still talk to other people. That’s not cheating. It’s unfortunate these guys feel the need to slam her.
Do you look back on your relationship with Courtney fondly?
I do. She’s very honest, very caring and very thoughtful. When I had challenges in my life, she stepped up for me. She made me amazing birthday dinners. And once, when I was away visiting family, she drove a day and a half to surprise me – just so she could see me for the day. That’s the real Courtney. She’s a great girl.
UPDATE - The appreciation for Courtney runs in the family. Chris' sister Shawnee Knight (née Slawson) adds:
"The backlash agains Courtney is really unfair. She is one of the sweetest, nicest people I ever met. I spent a lot of time with her during the seven years she dated my brother. She and Chris would come to visit my family at our vacation home in Hawaii. She went out of her way to spend time with my kids... "
"She doted on my brother. She was completely devoted to him. I think these ex-boyfriends of hers are just bitter because she broke up with