after the final rose

Jed Wyatt’s Ex-Girlfriend Has ‘Dreaded and Anticipated’ The Bachelorette Finale for Weeks

Hannah Brown and Jed Wyatt. Photo: John Fleenor/ABC

The engagement between The Bachelorette’s Hannah Brown and Jed Wyatt imploded in spectacular fashion during last night’s finale, when — after weeks of reports claiming Wyatt was a liar, a cheater, and an opportunist only looking to gain exposure for his failing music career — Brown dumped his ass for good. (She still ended up a winner, though.) The interview that brought forth this avalanche of reality-TV justice came from musician Haley Stevens, who said she and Wyatt were exclusively dating for months before he left to film the show. Even more connivingly, she says Wyatt promised to return to her immediately after his time on The Bachelorette, insisting this was a mandatory detour to becoming the next country superstar.

Throughout the finale, Wyatt refuted almost all of the claims brought forth by Stevens, characterizing their relationship as a casual fling despite the duo exchanging “I love yous” and meeting each others’ parents, among many other notable romantic milestones. To get her perspective, Vulture called Stevens earlier today to sort through a few of the “lies” Wyatt tried to refute in the finale. Unsurprisingly, Stevens is calling a whole lot of bullshit, but is hopeful Wyatt will “gain a little perspective” from his mistakes.

How did you watch the finale?
I waffled back and forth the past week. I haven’t watched the entire season — my friends would send me clips I needed to see. So, for the finale, I ended up going home. I didn’t want to be in Nashville and instead wanted to be with my family. I’ve dreaded and anticipated the finale. There’s a relief in that it’s just over. It’s over. He’s said his piece on national television and I was honest from day one, so I never had any fear that he would have anything against me. I couldn’t guess how it was gonna go. I ended up going out to dinner with my dad last night. We put our phones away. When I got home, my mom and sister recorded the episode and gave me the rundown of what he said. I decided it wasn’t worth me having to hear it from his mouth. I lived it the first time.

What did you think of Jed proposing with his guitar?
Judging by the rest of the season, I’m not shocked. It’s a Catch-22 for me. I think about it from an artistic standpoint: Would I have done the same thing? If I proposed to someone, would I do it with a guitar? I’ve written songs for people before and they mean a lot on a deeper level, but I think that proposal was more intimate and personal. I don’t know if it was the right call for him. I wasn’t shocked, I’ll say.

Was his “Mr. Right, Girl” song recycled from your relationship?
No, I never heard that before the show, thankfully. Same with the proposal song. Hopefully it was genuine!

It was revealed that Hannah discovered your relationship with Jed, along with the rest of us, thanks to your People interview. Did you and Hannah connect anytime after the interview was published, to better understand and talk through the whole situation?
We didn’t. Today was the first day where communication was opened. I did an interview a little bit ago with Lauren Zima [at Entertainment Tonight], and she said Hannah had a message for me. I’ve thought about her every single day since this show started and felt bad knowing this was her ultimate experience. It was hijacked from her. That made me sad. So, hearing this sweet message from her and wishing me the best, after thinking about her and wanting the best for her throughout this whole process, was pretty great. That’s been the extent of our communication, through news outlets, and it’s all been positive. I’m cheering her on. It was nice to hear that she didn’t blame me and wanted happiness for me.

If you wanted to continue the game of news-outlet phone tag and give her a message in return, what would it be?
The way she handled sitting on a couch with him and confronting the situation was so graceful. She’s held her head so high. She’s been so strong, and I have no doubt she’s going to find the happiness she wanted out of this experience. Even though this didn’t go her way, I have no doubt in her mind everything is coming her way because she deserves it. Give her a redo season!

Has Jed bothered to reach out to you this week?
No. The last time we talked was during CMA Festival, which was the first week of June, before my People article came out. I haven’t heard or seen anything from him since.

Are you expecting him to contact you?
I don’t expect him to. Honestly, it’s one of those things where you make the decision to move on. That’s where I am. I’ve had enough time and distance to gain a little perspective and say, You know what, this happened. I was so heartbroken and hurt in the beginning, and I’ve had the weeks since the article to think, What have I learned from this? The next person I date, I want to hold myself to a higher standard. But regarding this relationship, this is where it’s at. Take this and learn from it. I don’t think a conversation or apology from him would do anything.

Jed said a lot of questionable stuff in the finale about your relationship, ranging from the reason for your vacation, to meeting each others’ parents, to saying “I love you.” I don’t want to rehash it all, but did any of what he said hurt you more than the rest?
It probably should be the one about him being drunk when he told me he loved me, but the thing that hit my heart the most was what he said about our families. Family is very important to me. Like, I spent last night getting dinner with my dad instead of watching the finale. Not only did I introduce him to my family, but I got to know his, too. We spent multiple days with his family and I got to know them and talk to them — while he was gone, even. I formed a relationship with them and got to know them. You get attached to people like that. The family thing is tough. It’s not just your heart that’s involved in a relationship. My family has cried for me during my heartbreaks, and I can guarantee his family is reading all these comments about him. They’ve been put in a bad position as well. I can’t imagine the hurt they’ve been feeling.

This may seem like an odd question, but was the Jed you saw throughout this season the same Jed you recognized when you two were dating? Do you feel like he changed his personality for the show?
I keep calling it a “disconnect.” It’s been strange. He was himself with his personality, for sure. He’s very charming and funny and charismatic. People love him instantly. So, much of his personality shone through in that regard. As far as the person I sat across from a dinner table with in the Bahamas and said “I love you too” and believed in him enough to believe this Bachelorette opportunity was the best thing for him … that person I trusted and thought so highly of, there’s now a disconnect. I can’t understand how the person I fell in love with, and said he loved me back, could be the same person who everybody is making bad comments about.

Ultimately, do you think his apologies to Hannah were sincere?
I didn’t see their interactions in the finale, but I have to believe he feels remorse. I can only hope his apologies were genuine and honest and that he meant everything. He had to have felt strongly for her. They got engaged. He had to have felt apologetic. My hope is that, yes, his words were sincere. If I’ve learned anything throughout this entire process, there are so many lessons to be learned. I would hope he’s able to gain a little perspective. I hope that the person I fell in love with, and the person Hannah fell in love with, is the person who shines through at the end of all this. So, we’ll see.

Jed Wyatt’s Ex-Girlfriend ‘Dreaded’ The Bachelorette Finale