More to the story? After Zanab Jaffrey and Cole Barnett’s Love Is Blind breakup sparked controversy over alleged body-shaming comments, Alexa Alfia is weighing in after watching their relationship up close.
“I’m not blindly following [Zanab] because she’s a woman,” Alexa, 27, said during a Wednesday, November 16, appearance on the “Chicks in the Office” podcast, defending her support of her pal. “I’m not just blindly ‘Team Zay’ on something and I’m not, like, anti-Cole. I just see things the way I, physically being there, saw things happen.”
The flight attendant, 32, and Cole, 27, got engaged in the Love Is Blind pods during season 3, which aired on Netflix last month. After a rocky journey together, Zanab ultimately decided to call off their engagement at the altar.
“I tried to be very clear at the altar [about] exactly why I was leaving and why it was a no,” the London native exclusively told Us Weekly earlier this month. “It was deflected to me having a bad attitude and not being sweet enough and not having fun conversations, [being] passive aggressive. My mental health was questioned. So, I definitely did try [to tell him].”
Zanab later revealed during the season 3 reunion, which aired in November, that she chose to break up after her then-fiancé allegedly made comments about her weight and body type throughout their relationship. While Cole denied his ex’s claims, her fellow Love Is Blind ladies — including Alexa — had her back during the televised special.
“We saw for 11 episodes where he made little comments, commenting on things and I can’t remember if it was shown or not … but like telling her that she was the biggest girl that he’s ever been with and then telling her, like, when she was eating, like, ‘you’re fattening yourself up,’” Alexa, who married Brennon Lemieux during the season 3 finale, said on Wednesday. “A lot of those little comments happened and that’s gonna tear anyone down because this is supposed to be your biggest f—king cheerleader. And no one, I don’t think anyone should be commenting on what you’re eating ever, especially when it’s an orange.”
While the insurance agency owner sided with Zanab during the reunion and beyond, she harbors no ill will toward the real estate agent.
“I hugged Cole after the reunion,” Alexa noted to podcast hosts Maria Ciuffo and Francesca Mariano, seemingly agreeing with the pair that the reality TV exes were likely both to blame for the nature of their breakup. “We hugged [and] I told him, ‘I do not think you’re a bad person. I think that if anything you need to learn that maybe when you say something it carries weight and maybe, and you can learn that, to change the way you say something ‘cause it can be to the other person very hurtful.’ And I think … that they needed to communicate things better.”
She continued: “I wasn’t there 24/7, but I was there a lot. And I was definitely there more than all the keyboard warriors [who] have so much to say. … I don’t think Cole’s a bad person. I will stand by that.”
Alexa is ready to move beyond the Cuties drama, noting that she has not spoken to Cole since filming the reunion. Cole, for his part, told Us ahead of the finale that he regrets how he treated his former partner.
“I sure hope I didn’t shatter [Zanab’s] self-confidence,” the Texas resident told Us earlier this month. “But, for sure, I see where she’s coming from and … why she would’ve felt that way.”