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Katie Thurston Says ‘It Took a Long Time’ for Ex John Hersey to Pay Her Back for Van She Bought Him

Katie Thurston gifted then-boyfriend John Hersey with a new van prior to their breakup — and she will never make the same mistake again.

“We lived together, I bought him, like, a travel van. … I was, like, so all-in,” Thurston, 32, recalled of their six-month romance during the Tuesday, July 25, episode of the “LadyGang” podcast.

After host Becca Tobin questioned why Thurston purchased a new vehicle for Hersey, 29, the former Bachelorette clarified what occurred when they went their separate ways. “Don’t worry he paid me back,” she said. “But, it took a long time because travel fans aren’t cheap, OK!”

Thurston then noted that she will “never buy a man” a present of that caliber “ever” again.

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Thurston and Hersey — who met during her season 17 of The Bachelorette, in which he was eliminated during week 2 — started dating in October 2022 following her breakup from ex-fiancé Blake Moynes. The twosome fervently denied that Thurston had cheated on Moynes, 32, with Hersey as they pursued their relationship so soon after the end of her engagement. Thurston and Hersey ultimately called it quits in June 2022.

Katie Thurston Reveals How Long It Took Ex John to Pay Her Back for Van
Katie Thurston, John Hersey. Earl Gibson III/Shutterstock; Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

“I love being able to share special moments with you all — the funny ones. The happy ones. The outrageous, embarrassing, and heartfelt ones. But I don’t know if it will ever get easier to share the sad ones. As Katie stated earlier, we are no longer dating,” Hersey wrote via his Instagram Story at the time. “This decision was not made lightly, and it was obviously not an easy one to make. I appreciate every one of you that has supported us throughout this journey. We could not (and would not) be here without you.”

Nearly two months later, Thurston confirmed during an appearance on Nick Vialls “Viall Files” podcast that Hersey had “dumped” her and that she had even bought him  “a frickin’ travel van.”

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“I let this man quit his job. I was like, ‘Whatever you need me to be, I will be.’ Which, in hindsight, that’s not healthy, that’s not good,” she said in August 2022. “But it is a little, like, offensive to be like, ‘Damn, I gave you everything,’ and you’re still being like, ‘This isn’t working out.’”

Thurston further revealed at the time that Hersey, a bartender and aspiring pilot, was slowly working to reimburse her for the cost of the van. While paying back Thurston, Hersey made the car his full-time residence.

“He was literally living in the van when we broke up,” she claimed on Tuesday after podcast host Keltie Knight noted that he seemed wealthy based on his Bachelorette promo photo. “He has since sold the van. I don’t know what he’s doing, but rich is not what I would describe [him].”

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