“It definitely was hurtful to watch her on Women Tell All,” Merissa told Us Weekly exclusively. “It was her way of being manipulative and saying she didn’t break up multiple relationships. If she would have just made a blanket statement, I feel like that would have benefited her versus saying, ‘This girl hates me and she wanted to be on the show.’ You’re still not saying the reason why I came on there in the first place.”
During the Women Tell All special, Victoria, 25, adamantly denied having broken up any marriages and claimed Merissa is “somebody who just didn’t like me. … I don’t really know why she did it. I just think maybe she wanted to come on the show.”
Peter, 28, and Merissa dated for five months in 2012. She opened up exclusively to Us to February, explaining that she and Victoria met three years ago and upon their first meeting, Victoria “told me she was going to slash my tires because I was hanging out with one of her ex-boyfriends.”
When Victoria and Peter were on their hometown date, the former Miss Teen Virginia approached the pilot to tell him to be careful because she had allegedly broken up multiple marriages. Looking back, Merissa wouldn’t change a thing and says that the women whose lives were allegedly ruined by Victoria have thanked her for what she did.
“It wasn’t a personal motive for me to go on, it was a blanket motive for all those people here that couldn’t speak up. I got a lot of messages after that saying, ‘I can’t believe she’s lying again.’ ‘Stay true to yourself, you know why you did this,’ and so much more stuff [about Victoria] has come out after this because people feel empowered to speak up and before they were scared to speak up,” she continued. “Even though they’re talking behind a Reddit account, prior to this show there was no talk of that. It’s apparent that I’m opening it up for other people to speak about it because I made my initial statement.”
The other women involved are “fired up” by Victoria’s denial on Women Tell All, Merissa also told Us.
“They want to speak up but then realize there’s more to life than this reality TV show,” the model explained. “You have to put yourself in their shoes. If you had a child and you’re now divorced and you are going to revisit this because someone wants to be Instagram famous and be on a reality TV show? That doesn’t comprehend with them because that person ruined their life. I think it just digs up a lot of dark times for them and I’m glad I was able to speak up for them.”
The Bachelor’s two-part finale kicks off on ABC Monday, March 9, at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Kayley Stumpe