After developing a strong connection on screen, Schwer began to question whether he was ready to propose after learning Windey had sent home her other finalists Jason Alabaster and Johnny DePhillipo. While they had an emotional final date, the New Jersey native ultimately picked out a ring with Neil Lane.
“I thought that you were too good to be true, but now I know that you are too good, but you’re also true,” she told him. “I love you and I want to love you as long as you let me. And I’m sure for much longer after that.”
As he got down on one knee, Schwer gushed: “You are the most amazing person I’ve ever met. It’s you, me until the wheels fall off. I’m head over heels in love with you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I love you, Gabby. Will you marry me?”
Days before the finale aired in September 2022, the real estate analyst came under fire for a resurfaced photo of him in blackface from his high school yearbook. He apologized at the time: “What I thought at the time was a representation of my love for Jimi Hendrix, was nothing but ignorance. I was naïve to the hurtful implications of my actions to the Black community and those closest to me, and will forever regret my offensive and damaging behavior. I am deeply ashamed by my actions and understand that my apology is only the first step in taking accountability.”
While many fans were upset the controversy wasn’t addressed during After the Final Rose, Windey has since weighed in.
“I found out with the rest of the world and it was an immediate punch in the gut — really, truly devastating,” she told Variety. “So, it was hard for both of us just to kind of weigh our values and where we’re at and how this came about. And there is no excuse. He apologized, but ultimately there’s really no excuse for this behavior. I think we’re just really reflecting on ourselves, learning about where these biases come from [and] how they affect other people and how to change them and how to grow.”
The pair weathered another scandal at the time when the woman Schwer was dating before the show, Amanda Kaylor, leaked their text messages. In the screenshots from March 2022, Schwer said that the ABC show wasn’t “real” and wanted Kaylor to consider waiting for him to return from filming to resume their romance.
During After the Final Rose in September 2022, Windey explained that Schwer told her about the messages before they leaked and revealed that she forgave her fiancé, who admitted he “led” Kaylor on.
“Our communication has just gotten better,” she said. “And he’s gracious and he’s honest and I do believe what he says. So not saying that you were right in your actions — I mean, you were kind of an a—hole to her.”
The twosome also played coy about their future plans as Windey took on Dancing With the Stars season 31: “When you say ‘yes’ to spending the rest of your life with someone, it’s not going to be easy — especially in the public eye.”
The following day, Windey opened up about the text drama on the “Chicks in the Office” podcast.
“Honestly, like, I’d be pissed too if I was her. I’d probably run to spoiler accounts trying to ruin your life too — I don’t know, there’s no saying,” she said with a laugh. “But, you know, it was all before the show — you move on. Our relationship is different. He’s been good to me.”
She also responded to Kaylor’s claims that Schwer’s AFR comments were “bulls—t — and addressed Kaylor’s warning to Us Weekly that Windey will “learn” for herself.
“I’m like, ‘Will I?’” Windey quipped. “You only end up with one person. You’re gonna go through many breakups. … Do I wish he could have told her straight out instead of ghosting her for a reality TV show? 100 percent. But he didn’t and there’s nothing I can do about it.”
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