As Bachelor Nation gears up for Michelle Young’s season 18 finale of The Bachelorette, Greg Grippo is opening up about quitting Katie Thurston’s season 17 earlier this year despite being billed as the front-runner from the start.
“It was a really tough decision to leave. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to, you know, choose for myself. It was tough, especially after hearing everyone saying like, ‘Oh, I was acting or I ran away when it got too serious,’” the New Jersey native explained on the Sunday, December 19, episode of the “We Met at Acme” podcast. “I mean, for me, I’m like, ‘What if she said I love you back, guys?’ Like, I couldn’t leave then, you know, I would have known then [that] this is gonna be my wife, I wouldn’t have left.
Greg called things off with the 30-year-old Bachelorette when she was down to her final three. When asked to describe the reason he left in his own words, Greg replied, “It felt, like, a little too scripted and felt like, ‘Alright, we need to play by [the rules]’ — I had no problem going into, like, the fantasy suite and there being two other guys there. I wasn’t looking for the show to end. I wasn’t at all. I wanted us to communicate on a mutual level in those moments.”
The former reality TV contestant added that he understands that there are “steps” to The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, but he didn’t feel the “mutual love” from Katie at the time.
“This is also the rest of my life. And if this is going to be the person I marry, I want it to be completely real. And, like, yeah, I want to show my family after and be like, ‘Look that we accomplished, look at what we went through,’” he said. “That’s one of the hardest things, I feel like, to make it out of the mud with someone, you know, [on] that damn dating show.”
“I like to think on my end [that] the feelings that we had were real, but I just truly believe that she had stronger feelings for Blake [Moynes], who ended up getting engaged to her after. I mean, I was even calling producers after [I quit], I was DMing, like, Kaitlyn Bristowe — nobody was answering me — but I was like, ‘Is she with him? Did they end up together? Is she coming back to New Jersey?’” he recalled. “I was calling producers left and right. I was also telling my family, I’m like, ‘Guys, I think there’s a better chance than not [we get back together] because let me tell you, it’s like very real between us.’”
Instead, during the After the Final Rose special in August, Katie accused Greg of gaslighting her. When the drama went down, he didn’t know what the word meant.
“I felt like people were tossing around that word. … I’m, like, truly trying to understand what people were trying to say like, you know, [saying I was] really manipulating her mindset — and that’s the furthest thing from what I was trying to do,” he said, noting that he didn’t leave his bed for 10 days amid the backlash. “Not even a sliver of my intention was to gaslight her at all.”
While the Bachelor alum got engaged to Blake during the finale, the twosome announced their split in October. She has since moved on with John Hersey, who was eliminated during week 2 of the season.
When asked what he would say if Katie called him now and wanted to be together, Greg concluded, “That chapter’s closed. I don’t mean that in any harsh way. But just, I’m just at another point in my life. And I don’t think we’re right for each other anyway.”
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