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Katie Thurston Is Dating ‘Bachelorette’ Contestant John Hersey After Blake Moynes Split (Exclusive)

Katie Thurston’s relationship with Blake Moynes didn’t have a fairy tale ending — but it turns out season 17 of The Bachelorette wasn’t a total wash! The former Bachelorette is seeing contestant John Hersey, Us Weekly can confirm.

Related: Katie Thurston Gets ‘Messy’ While Comparing Her ‘Bachelorette’ Exes to Taylor Swift ‘Red’ Songs

The 30-year-old former bank marketing manager revealed her relationship with the 27-year-old California native, who competed for her affections on the ABC series earlier this year, on Tuesday, November 23, the final day of her “12 Days of Messy” challenge. She dedicated Taylor Swift’s “Begin Again” to Hersey and Us can exclusively reveal that fans should take the lyrics as confirmation that they are dating. The twosome will attend their mutual friend Stephen Lovegrove’s First Noelle Ball on December 2.

Katie Thurston Is Dating ‘Bachelor’ Contestant John Hersey After Blake Moynes Split
Katie Thurston, John Hersey, and Blake Moynes. Shutterstock(3)

In addition to sharing videos of the pair in recent weeks, Thurston included a clip of the bartender’s limo entrance.

“Yeah, that’s my type. I think that’s my type,” she said after he introduced himself on the June premiere. “Did he hear me? Play it cool.”

Related: Bachelorette’s Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes’ Relationship Timeline

Thurston, who sent home Hersey during week two of the season, got engaged to Moynes, 31, during the finale, which aired in August. The twosome announced their split via a joint statement in October and she dedicated day one of her “messy” challenge to the wildlife expert, playing Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

“It is with mutual love and respect that we have decided to go our separate ways. We are so grateful for the moments we shared together and the entire journey that has unfolded this year, but we ultimately have concluded that we are not compatible as life partners, and it is the most caring choice for both of us to move forward independently,” the former couple said on October 25. “We ask for kindness and privacy as we both navigate this transition. Both of us will forever want the best for one another and ask you to please support us in our decision.”

Thurston struck up a friendship with Hersey after moving to San Diego post-show. Some fans were even convinced she ended up with him after they were spotted together over the summer.

“Internet rumors lead me to this guy becoming a dear dear friend,” she wrote alongside pics with Hersey in September.

Related: Messiest Bachelor Nation Breakups

Thurston previously hinted that she was going to use her Swift challenge to announce a new romance, asking the musician for help to “deliver A Message from Taylor to someone from my season?”

Moynes, for his part, has yet to publicly react to Thurston moving on. Following their breakup, the Washington native took aim at those who didn’t think their relationship was authentic.

“We were together for six months [and] Blake and I are very level-headed and mature, and we communicate very well on our thoughts,” Thurston told fans on October 31. “And we just both knew if this was how our first six months was as a couple, going forward it was going to not be in our best interest for our happiness to stay together. … Obviously, a public relationship ending is a really sh—ty thing to have to navigate, but you guys have been very kind and supportive and I wanted to say thank you for being that way to me and to Blake.”

She added at the time: “At the end of the day, your happiness is what’s important and if something is taking that away from you — and that’s not even a dig at Blake, it’s just a dig at what him and I were as partners — then we owe it to each other to step away, so that’s what we’re doing.”

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