Ben Higgins didn’t find everlasting love with his final rose recipient, but that doesn’t mean the former Bachelor wanted to burn any bridges with ex-fiancée Lauren Bushnell as he sat down to write his new book, Alone in Plain Sight.
“I wrote [the chapter about Lauren] because it is a part of my story. My life doesn’t fully make sense unless you know the entirety of my story,” the 31-year-old reality TV personality exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the book’s release. “So, I wrote it and then I sent it over.”
Higgins noted that the former couple, who split in May 2017, “hadn’t really spoken” before he reached out about his book.
“She was super gracious. And she read it and she was, like, encouraging [about it]. One, because there is no ill will. She’s married and pregnant and life’s good. I’m engaged and super happy and life’s great. And, like, there’s no resentment or hard feelings there,” he said. “When I wrote it, it was coming from a place of being healed and fully aware of how it all progressed, and how good it all progressed for both of us. And so, she was encouraging in it.”
Higgins and Bushnell got engaged during the season 20 finale of The Bachelor, which aired in March 2016. After less than two years together, they pulled the plug on their romance. While the former flight attendant married husband Chris Lane in October 2019 and is due to give birth to their baby boy in June 2021, Higgins proposed to girlfriend Jessica Clarke in March 2020.
“I hope people read [the chapter] and just go like, ‘Hey, breakups suck no matter what, but they don’t have to be contentious. They don’t have to be ugly forever. They don’t have to be resentful forever, like, in fact, it’s really good when there’s healing forgiveness and people can move on,’” Higgins told Us. “And I hope people read that and see that within that chapter, like, it’s all good. … When you’re in it, it’s terrible. When you’re fresh from it, it hurts. And then over time, you see the light.”
Higgins previously opened up to Us about his relationship (or lack thereof) with Bushnell after ABC aired a condensed version of his season as part of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever! in June 2020.
“I’m happy for her, and she found her partner,” he told Us at the time. “I mean if she reached out saying, ‘Hey, how are you going to handle this? This is what’s sensitive to me …’ I would love to take that call from her, but I don’t think I’m needed in this moment for her.”
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Bushnell, for her part, revealed via Instagram that she didn’t watch the episode.
“Chris and I won’t be watching but it sounds like a fun walk down memory lane!” she wrote at the time. “I’m very thankful for the show and the experience. Have nothing but respect for everyone I shared that chapter with including the producers, Ben, and all the lifelong friendships I made.”
Alone in Plain Sight is available on Tuesday, February 2. For more from Higgins, watch the video above.