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Clay Harbor Defends Cousin Andrew Spencer’s Decision Not to Rejoin Katie Thurston’s Season of ‘The Bachelorette’ (Exclusive)

After Andrew Spencer turned down Katie Thurston’s offer to rejoin her season of The Bachelorette, Bachelor Nation was split on his decision not to give their romance another shot. The season 17 contestant cousin’s Clay Harbor, however, explains why he made the right move on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons.”

Related: 5 Things to Know About The Bachelorette’s Andrew S.

During Monday’s episode, the 30-year-old former banking manager sent Andrew, 26, home ahead of next week’s hometown dates. When Andrew showed up at her room the day after the rose ceremony to say goodbye again — and slipped her a note that read “If you change your mind … I’ll be waiting” — Katie gave him the option to rejoin the journey, but he declined.

“You got to realize that he just got his heart broken. And in that setting, you know, you want someone to pick you and there’s still four guys left,” Clay, who appeared on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette in 2018 told Us. “And that would be putting a lot on yourself. If you go back, there’s a good chance it’ll happen again, like, setting yourself [up] for heartbreak all over again. So I think he did the right thing in leaving and saying, you know, ‘If this doesn’t work out for you, like, let’s talk and see if this can be something that could happen.'”

Related: Becca Kufrin’s Season 14 of ‘The Bachelorette’: Where Are They Now?

After the initial breakup aired, Katie knew fans would be upset, tweeting, “Auto Reply: This is where I hide from Twitter now. See you in 2-3 business days. #TheBachelorette.” Social media was mixed, however, when she chased Andrew down and he opted not to rejoin the journey.

Clay Harbor Defends Cousin Andrew Decision Not Rejoin Katie Season
Andrew Spencer, Clay Harbor, Katie Thurston Courtesy Andrew Spencer/Instagram; ABC/Craig Sjodin

“Seeing some of the people on social media be like, ‘You had a chance to go back. He didn’t care.’ Like, no, he got let go. And he doesn’t want to put himself back in that situation again, where you can break his heart again,” Clay, 34, told Us. “[If she said], ‘No, I want to be with you and only you,’ then I think that’s when he would have obviously left with her and been with her. But I think he handled it perfectly in my opinion.”

Related: ‘Bachelor’ Stars Who Returned to the Franchise Again and Again

Andrew, for his part, sent Katie love via Instagram on Tuesday, July 20.

“Katie thank you for reassuring my belief in love. Your strength as a woman set the tone for 30 men to be open and vulnerable something not easily done for men,” he wrote. “And for that it brought the guys in the house closer and some to being really good friends of mine. You and I shared many real conversations coupled with real romance that sparked discussions in living rooms and left some smitten over our connection. So lastly (British voice) Hello love, i am truly thankful for you allowing me to experience your type of love ❤️.”

For a complete recap of this week’s episode of The Bachelorette, watch “Here for the Right Reasons” above.

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