Trouble in paradise? Danielle Lombard sat down with Us Weekly to clarify her love triangle with Bachelor in Paradise costars Dean Unglert and Kristina Schulman.
The 28-year-old model, who vied for Nick Viall’s affections on season 21 of The Bachelor, is now pursuing a relationship with Rachel Lindsay’s Bachelorette castoff, Dean Unglert. Although Unglert, 26, had been involved with Schulman before Lombard’s arrival Paradise, the former nail artist insists that she proceeded with caution before asking the startup recruiter out on a date.
“Kristina and I, we’ve always… I wouldn’t even say we’re friends,” Lombard told Us Weekly exclusively at the TV brand TCL’s Bachelor in Paradise viewing party on Monday, August 21. “So I think going into it, you know, from what I had heard after the break and everything was that [Dean and Kristina] did go on a date together … But at the end of the day, Dean wanted to pull the breaks and take a step back.”
Lombard explained that, after arriving in Paradise, the other female contestants told her that Derek Peth and Taylor Nolan were the only coupled off cast members at that point. “I think that was, for me, Kristina’s opportunity to say, ‘Dean and I are dating, I really like him, I would be upset if you asked him on a date.’ And she didn’t say anything and I knew that I was interested in Dean, so I was like, alright,” Lombard continued. “I pretty much got the green light from her. And then when I talked to [Dean], he was like, ‘Yeah, you know Kristina and I were talking during the break. We went on a date, sort of went well, but it was going too fast and I wanted to take a step back and maybe go on dates with other people.’ So I was like, alright. Well. She didn’t say anything, he said he’s open to dating, so why wouldn’t I ask him on a date? He was an original person of interest.”
The Bachelor alum told Us that her first date with the Venice Beach native went well. “We talked a lot on our date. I talked a lot too, I opened up. I think that’s something that Dean still struggles with. But I feel like we’re both kindred spirits in the sense where we’re a little bit more laid back when it comes to dating,” she said. “I told him I wasn’t looking to get married within the next couple of years and have kids, I really just wanted the partner who I could have as my partner in crime to explore life and go on adventures with, and then worry about settling down and having kids. So I think that’s something that we both connected on and that was why he had this great, genuine connection afterward. It’s interesting.”
Whereas Schulman and Unglert shared a “very serious” relationship because “their backgrounds were similar in a sense,” the San Jose native says her connection with the Bachelorette veteran was built upon “commonalities and shared interests.”
All things said and done, Lombard doesn’t regret pursuing Unglert. “At the end of the day, I know how my actions can be perceived on television and I know what really happened. And if Kristina and I were close friends and she wasn’t comfortable with me dating Dean, then I would have just backed off. But that wasn’t the case,” she told Us. “We talked a lot during the show. We had a conversation and we’ve talked afterwards. And I think it’s one of those situations where you can’t help who you love and it’s a tough situation. Dean really needed to step up and take on that role of really talking to us both and being very transparent, so it will be interesting to see what happens.”
Added the reality personality, “I definitely care about [Dean] a lot. He’s a great guy.”
Bachelor in Paradise airs on ABC Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
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