Getting the last laugh. As Brendan Morais’ Instagram followers continue to plummet, Natasha Parker has increased her following by more than 230,000 amid their Bachelor in Paradise drama.
“I have had crazy insomnia since the show started airing. … I was dreading Monday’s episode so much, I probably got four hours of sleep,” the 33-year-old Bachelor alum told her new supporters on Wednesday, September 8, via Instagram Stories. “I think I was dreading it because I know how I felt in the moment. I felt dumb, I felt stupid, I felt used. I felt all the things. I just didn’t know what people were going to say, and I know how low I felt in real time and just to relive those feelings again but have you guys validate how I felt and give me so much love and support has meant everything.”
On the ABC series, Brendan, 31, has been accused of going to Mexico in a pre-established relationship with Bachelor season 25 alum Pieper James. (Us Weekly broke the news of their romance in June, with a source revealing that they’d been in a long-distance relationship for “weeks.”) After Pieper, 24, arrived during the Monday, September 6, episode and immediately took Brendan on a date, Natasha confronted the pair about their romance.
While the Oregon native admitted that they went out 10 times before Paradise and were dating without “labels,” Brendan tried to downplay the relationship. He has also been accused of gaslighting Natasha, insisting that they were just friends before Pieper arrived.
“It wasn’t an intimate relationship or a romantic relationship in any way,” Brendan told the “Click Bait” podcast cohost. “I specifically said to you, ‘I don’t have those type of feelings for you on a romantic level, but you’re such an amazing person, I want to give you this rose and give you an opportunity to be here another couple of days and to meet people.'”
Natasha subsequently called him a “liar” and accused the twosome of being clout chasers. During a private conversation on the beach, Pieper and Brendan were caught comparing Instagram followers. He also seemingly admitted that he used Natasha, telling someone off camera, “She had zero prospects otherwise. It’s not like I was keeping her from anyone. I don’t know if she would have a single, actual, viable prospect otherwise.”
After the episode aired, fans began to unfollow Brendan amid fallout from Bachelor Nation. He has since lost more than 100,000 followers — and Natasha, who had roughly 84,000 before the drama, has officially surpassed him with more than 316,000 followers. While Brendan has yet to publicly speak out on the backlash, Pieper, whose following has decreased by thousands too, defended the pair.
“Just an [sic] gentle reminder that reality tv isn’t real,” she wrote via Instagram Stories Tuesday, September 7. “An edited, produced, and cut down show isn’t going to show you every single thing said and done. An edited and produced show can’t show you conversations that happened before filming between friends. … “At the end of the day it’s a tv show. We the viewers are shown what makes the best television, just as any show. And folks what we have here is a very successful show.”
Bachelor in Paradise airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
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