Not long after declaring he didn’t have any regrets from The Bachelorette on After the Final Rose, Greg Grippo is telling a different story. The season 17 contestant reflected on the tense end of his relationship with Katie Thurston during his first post-show interview.
“I was confused after I initially left after AFR because I really wanted to end it off on a good note between us,” the 28-year-old New Jersey native said on the “Viall Files” podcast on Wednesday, August 11. “But I saw how hurt she was and so I really tried to watch back the second time from her lense. And yeah, I mean, I was ashamed about how I reacted in those moments. She didn’t deserve it plain and simple. It wasn’t fair to her.”
Greg added that it was “humbling and very painful” to revisit his breakup from Katie, 30, on the August 2 episode.
“To bring up the acting stuff, I’d rather people say, ‘Oh, he was acting,’ than to look myself in the mirror and be like, you know, ‘I still have work, obviously, to do on myself.’ I projected a lot on her,” he said. “And it was my own fears and insecurities, my own sadness, my own anger. And yeah, a lot of that has to do, you know, with what I haven’t processed. Even my brother [said] it during my hometown, I haven’t really talked much about my dad, you know, I tried going to therapy right off the bat. And only went for a limited amount of time.”
One of the things Greg and Katie bonded over during their relationship was the loss of their respective fathers. Things took a turn, however, when he felt liked she dismissed his feelings after he told her she “filled a hole” in his heart while speaking about his dad’s death. He subsequently quit the show.
“I felt like it wasn’t going to be me in those moments. I mean, me leaving, it was one of the hardest decisions ever,” Greg told Nick Viall. “I remember calling my mom, she’s like, ‘What the hell happened?’ You know, she thought I was just gonna, like, tell her that I just got engaged.”
While Katie threatened to quit too, she ultimately stayed and got engaged to Blake Moynes during the Monday, August 9, finale. After watching the season, the reality TV personality accused Greg of faking his feelings for her and looking for an “escape” to not propose.
“We watched [my breakup with Greg] right before going into filming After the Final Rose, so there was a lot of emotions that I felt that I didn’t feel in the moment with Greg,” Katie told Us Weekly exclusively in a joint interview with Blake, 31, on Tuesday, August 10. “And that’s what people need to remember is After the Final Rose is about kind of speaking your own truth and getting it out there for that final closure. And really that’s what Greg and I both were able to do. And we’re ready to just close that door forever and move forward. You can be happy and in love in your relationship, but still be upset with how someone treated you in the past and you want to speak on it.”
Scroll through for the biggest takeaways from Greg’s interview: