The former Bachelor, 33, described the experience during the Monday, January 23, episode of “The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever” with Chris Harrison. “We arrived [in Orlando] last Tuesday for this event,” Harrison, 51, recalled. “Before I get on the plane, I get a text message from Ben Higgins in the locker room. … It says Chris Harrison on the locker. It says Ben Higgins on the locker. Next to Ben Higgins is Chris Lane, country music star.”
The Indiana native got engaged to Bushnell, 32, during season 20 of the ABC dating series in 2016. One year later, the reality stars called it quits. Higgins has since moved on with Jessica Clarke, whom he wed in November 2021.
Bushnell, 32, exchanged vows with Lane, 38, in 2019. The pair have since welcomed sons Dutton, 19 months, and Baker, 3 months.
Higgins confessed that he hasn’t seen his former fiancée since their breakup, but he referred to their relationship as being “an important season” in his life. The Bachelorette alum added that he thought an encounter with Lane in such close quarters would feel “odd.”
“No matter what, we’re all adults. So I wasn’t worried about the outcome or how we’d handle it,” he explained. “I don’t know if anybody out there — and maybe I’m wrong — is, like, super jacked to see somebody who they’ve split ways with in their life.”
Bushnell didn’t join her husband at the tournament, but her father was there to support the “Broken Windshield View” crooner. Harrison, Higgins and fellow competitor Wells Adams bumped into Lane at the bar on their first night in Florida.
“Right away, I saw him. He didn’t see me, he had his head turned,” Higgins recalled. “I walked up and I said, ‘Hey Chris, good to see you.’ … I will tell you, it has been nothing but great. It’s been nice to talk to him.”
The Generous Coffee founder noted that it wasn’t the first time the pair have chatted — and that he also had a moment with Bushnell’s father. “Lauren’s dad and I were able to catch up,” Higgins said. “He actually said hi to me … which felt really good.”
Higgins continued to gush over Lane, adding that “it’s been fun” to spend time with the “Big, Big Plans” singer. “I’m glad we did it,” the ABC personality said. “If Lauren comes down tomorrow — and I don’t know if she is or not — and I run into her, it would be good to see her.”
Adams, 38, argued otherwise, while Harrison conceded that it probably wouldn’t be “the dream scenario” for Higgins. The “Almost Famous” podcast host, meanwhile, joked that he was happy to provide “content” for Harrison and his new show.
As the trio continued to recap their golf trip, Adams brought up another “uncomfortable” moment involving Lane. While they were out to dinner, a caddy for the tournament admitted he wasn’t familiar with the songwriter and looked him up on the spot.
“He finds a picture and he goes, ‘Wow, his wife’s pretty hot! Look at her,'” Adams recalled. “[He] points the phone … at me and Ben. And I had this look of utter terror. I was like, ‘I don’t know if you’re messing with us or not. … That’s Ben’s ex! That he got engaged to on television!'”
Harrison chimed in: “I thought, ‘This guy’s either the smartest, most genius comedian I’ve ever met or he’s the dumbest human being.’ Turns out it’s the latter, unfortunately. … It got worse and worse and worse.”
As if the moment couldn’t get any more awkward, Higgins revealed: “To heal it, he finds a picture of my wife and he goes, ‘She’s really hot too!’ I’m like, ‘Dude, stop!'”