“We can talk about [almost] anything at this point. Obviously, there are things that, you know, transpired between me and Rachel that — as we’ve both said — are deeply personal. And we’re not going to touch it that, [but] I think we can very easily go through the timeline without touching any of that,” the 28-year-old Bachelorette season 19 winner began on the “Viall Files” podcast on Thursday, October 20. “I do not stand by what I did at all. It was not cool. It wasn’t fair to Rachel. And it haunts me daily, still. It’s something I’m ashamed of. And certainly, like, wish I could have done it differently, like, a million times over. … I’m trying to go through and unfold and figure out why my insecurities, my ego could just take over my actions like that and just led me down this path to go to rock bottom.”
Moments after watching Tino and Rachel, 26, get engaged last month, Bachelor Nation saw their relationship crumble as he admitted to kissing another girl while the show was airing.
“I want to put it to bed — we weren’t on a break. I don’t know where that came from. We were not separated or anything like that,” Tino told Nick Viall before shedding light on why he stepped out on the pilot. “When I acted out, I felt like … we were starting to check out. We were just in a really dark place. Like, it’s hard to describe because even looking back on it, it takes me to a place where, like, I really wish I just didn’t do that and just didn’t act out.”
He explained that the pair had hit a rough patch over the summer when he went out with friends and led another woman on.
“When you go through hard times in a relationship, it’s hard to convince yourself that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
The general contractor cited his insecurities as the reason he cheated.
“I just kind of gave in. I just leaned in, and we kissed and that wasn’t fair to that girl, either. That wasn’t considerate of her feelings at all. Like, she didn’t want to be wrapped up in any of this,” Tino said. “And I realized really quickly [at the time], like, ‘I don’t know what the future holds for me or Rachel, but I know this is not who I am, and this is not what I should be doing. So I got out of there.’ And it was pretty haunting.”
Tino went on to admit that not telling Rachel about his indiscretion right away was almost as big of a mistake as cheating on her in the first place.
“Biggest regret, outside of actually doing it, was not telling her right away. I should have told her the day after, hands down. Rachel deserves all that time back, and I can’t give it to her. And all I can do is, you know, tell her I’m really sorry,” he said. “At the time, it just really felt like, you know, the relationship is kind of checked out of and I didn’t want to handle it, like, publicly and all that. … I knew it was a one-time thing. [In] the following weeks, I took therapy way more seriously because I was like ‘OK, what why did I find this toxic outlet? This is shameful. This is not who I want to believe I am and I won’t believe that.’ It’s a low-character moment, for sure. Worst thing I could have done to somebody in a relationship who I really, really loved.”
Tino explained that things started to get better between him and Rachel as his slip-up loomed in the back of his mind.
“I avoided situations that could have put me in the same shoes — drinking, hanging out with [that] friend group in those situations. I did all the steps I should have been doing before my mistake because then I would have had a healthy progression to get back on track in my own head and handling my own insecurities,” he said. “So didn’t tell her right away and time just kind of kept going along. And me and Rachel would talk every day. We kind of put together a game plan of like, ‘OK, do we want this to work?’”
So, how did things go when Tino finally confessed to Rachel? And what was his conversation with Aven Jones like after the runner-up appeared at After the Final Rose? Keep scroll through for more from Tino: