The season 11 Bachelorette, 38, hosted a New Year’s Eve party at her Nashville home on Sunday, December 31, inviting fellow franchise alums Blake Moynes (Bachelorette seasons 16 and 17) and Zac Clark (Bachelorette season 16). (Vanderpump Rules‘ Katie Maloney was also at the bash.) After footage of Bristowe with her arm around Clark, 39, surfaced on social media, fans began to speculate that the twosome were dating.
Bristowe — who called off her engagement to Bachelorette season 14 alum Jason Tartick during summer 2023 — initially shared a cryptic quote amid the chatter.
“The vibe for 2024 is messy authenticity over fake perfection,” the post read.
She then returned to the platform and shared a series of statements.
“You would think by now I’d be used to the hate. I’m not. Your words hurt. Your shaming hurts. Part of me feels a little sad and honestly embarrassed for you guys because this shouldn’t be how you spend day 1 of a new year,” Bristowe wrote. “You should not be this invested in someone you don’t even know or respect. It’s actually scary, and I know looking inward might be even scarier for you. But the bullying is next level. You are allowed to have opinions and feelings. But you don’t even know the truth, and your HATE should actually come with consequences. I truly worry about some of your mental health. It’s not OK. It’s. Not. Please. Please feel ashamed of yourselves for treating someone this way who you don’t know. I did not kill someone. I had a party with some of my favorite people. Shame. On. YOU. Not me.”
She continued: “I am not one dimensional. What you see on people’s social media does not mean you know them. And this part might sting … but I would never, ever want to switch places with you. Your life seems so sad. So I will not take the opinions of someone one who I would not trade places with.”
Bristowe, who never mentioned Clark by name, thanked her supporters and implied there was more to the story.
“Y’all wanna feel big round and important but you are small minded and sad. Thank you to everyone who is kind on my platform. Love you guys. You are the real ones,” she wrote. “I wish I could just share my truth and tell you my side. It’s hard to bite my dang tongue sometimes. But you just go on and continue to have your own little made up story in your head and believe what you want to believe. Social media la la land. Good lawwwddd.”
Bristowe included a screenshot of a text that she received from an unnamed person, which read: “But like they don’t know the truth or any backstory. It’s wild.”
Hours later, Bristowe addressed the situation more directly, commenting on a post that included the video of her and Clark at the party and speculation about why Tartick unfollowed Bristowe and Clark on Instagram.
“Hi! Here to say that there was never an ounce of cheating happening and I will not stand for this rumor. Y’all are NASTY in here. Anywho. Swear on my dogs lives,” she wrote. “No cheating went on. So we can just put that to rest. Thank you!! Happy new year everyone. Go donate some blood or somethin!”
If there was something romantic between Bristowe and Clark, it would mark her fourth Bachelor Nation romance. After competing on Chris Soules‘ season of The Bachelor, she got engaged to Shawn Booth on season 11 of The Bachelorette. After their three-year relationship ended in 2018, she started dating Tartick until their 2023 split.
Clark, for his part, got engaged to Tayshia Adams on season 16 of The Bachelorette in 2020. They split in late 2021 after one year together.
Bristowe and Adams would go on to host several seasons of The Bachelorette together, which some fans are pointing out in the comments section. Adams — who never addressed the reason behind her split from Clark — is currently dating Summer House’s Luke Gulbranson.