Clayton Echard wasn’t expecting the warmest welcome from exes Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia at The Bachelor: After the Final Rose, but the latter threw a curveball when she suggested he told her he loved her sole to have sex in the fantasy suites.
“That was a surprising comment,” the 28-year-old Bachelor admitted to Us Weekly during an exclusive interview with Susie Evans on Wednesday, March 16. “I don’t want to take that away from her. … I said, ‘No.’ And she said, ‘Well, I don’t believe it.’ There’s nothing more I could say besides, ‘OK,’ at that point. If there’s one day down the road that she wants to have a candid conversation and talk more in-depth about the entire thing, I would certainly give that to her. I think I do owe it to both of them — if they would like to — but if they don’t want to hear anything else come out of my mouth, they shouldn’t feel that they need to give me that ability to explain myself.”
Clayton continued: “I was shocked that she said that and it hurt that that’s a question that she seriously is considering. … [But] if you don’t believe me, you don’t believe me. And I don’t think there’s anything I can say to convince you.”
The Missouri native sent Gabby and Rachel home during the Tuesday, March 15, episode after admitting that he still had feelings for Susie. The Virginia Beach resident previously left the competition after fighting with Clayton about him sleeping with Gabby and Rachel nights prior.
“Looking back, I would’ve said something way earlier,” Susie told Us about her concerns with how Clayton was planning to handle the overnight dates. “There really wasn’t a great time to have that conversation. Things move so fast. We both experienced it in different ways. You go from hometowns and then you think, ‘OK, I might be going home.’ And then all of a sudden you’re in Iceland. And then all of a sudden you’re the third fantasy suite date and it’s too late to get a conversation. But I also didn’t think that I should tell Clayton how to do this. And I guess that was my mentality — ‘This could prove our compatibility or not.’ And we have kind of come to the conclusion that I was living with my real-world expectations, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And Clayton adapted to, I guess, the process and dating multiple women. He acted in a way that many Bachelors before have.”
Susie said the couple now agree that “there’s nothing wrong with either way we went about the process” as they both made mistakes.
“What we could have done better was just have more empathy for each other and be able to understand the other person’s perspective while we were in that moment,” she told Us. “But our minds were living in different realities at that point. And we’ve since been able to come to the same reality, but when you’re there, it’s such a tough environment and we’re just fortunate that we are able to get to the other side and be so happy and confident where we are now.”