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Jenna Cooper Explains Why She Eloped, Details Healing From ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Scandal (Exclusive)

Jenna Cooper has happily moved on from her time in Bachelor Nation, but she knows fans will not soon forget the wild plot twist her time on season 5 of Bachelor in Paradise took.

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“A lot of people ask and I’m fine to talk about it because now, I don’t know, I’m not as triggered,” the 32-year-old former reality star said on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast while promoting her partnership with Jane. “I don’t think there is a form of justice possible [or] that could heal or fix me completely — or my family who unfortunately had to deal with that, which I hate.”

During the 2018 season of BiP, Cooper got engaged to Jordan Kimball. Their relationship was short-lived, however, after reports claimed she was “running an entire escort service” and not faithful to Kimball. Cooper denied the claims from the beginning and one year later, Reality Steve issued an apology for his reporting.

Jenna Cooper Explains Why She Eloped Details Healing From Bachelor in Paradise Scandal
Jenna Cooper Courtesy of Jenna Cooper/Instagram

“I love that the truth is out, but I think, still, nobody knows exactly what happened. I know a lot more than I’ve shared, but there’s even still things I’m figuring out,” Cooper told Us. “It is the weirdest, creepiest [situation], like, mysterious stalkers, psycho, lots of narcissists involved.”

The Bachelor season 22 alum added that she’s “a lot stronger” now, explaining, “When I think back, [I don’t even know] how I made it through.”

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“As much as I wanna say, ‘I wish it didn’t happen,’ I still wouldn’t change one thing to end up where I am now,” she continued. “I learned a lot and I’m so happy to be out of it. I can appreciate what I got out of it, but it just hurts. The Bachelor needs a scandal every season and so somebody has to take that and you’re kind of not allowed to say your side. You’re not really allowed to stand up for yourself [at the time] and looking back, I probably could have a little bit more, but I just kind of took it.”

Cooper has since moved on with Karl Hudson, giving birth to their daughter, Presley, in May 2020, and announcing their engagement in June 2021. The twosome eloped in New Orleans last month.

Jenna Cooper Explains Why She Eloped Details Healing From Bachelor in Paradise Scandal
Jenna Cooper and Karl Hudson Courtesy of Jenna Cooper/Instagram

“I know it’s random, which I feel like that’s kind of our personalities, [but] we just kind of went with it,” she told Us. “I knew I wanted to marry him. No doubt about that. We just kind of kept going back and forth. Like, ‘Are we gonna do a destination wedding? No, we should do it here and have everybody come.’ And then there were all kinds of weird regulations going on for years. And it was just like, ‘Are we ever really gonna do it?’ We just wanna be married.”

Cooper had three days to plan the wedding after Hudson suggested they make the Final Four trip extra special.

Related: Celebrity Couples Who Got Married in Secret

“Somehow it all worked out perfectly. I loved my dress. The venue was great. The photographer was amazing,” she said. “It just worked out. [It was] so relaxing and so fun. We’ll have a ceremony and a big party later, probably in the fall. … Some people are probably like ‘What?!’ But it was so fun and it’s kind of, like, we get to just keep celebrating throughout the whole year.”

Cooper has also celebrated her recent nuptials with Jane, a boutique e-commerce marketplace that specializes in being a one-stop shop for all brides’ wedding needs.

“I was just so drawn to Jane for how they supported small businesses, love the products, great deals,” she told Us. “I love shopping there every single season. And now that they’re offering these amazing wedding products, like, you can’t beat it, especially now in the midst of planning. It’s great personalized stuff, jewelry. Stuff you wouldn’t even think that you might need — like an umbrella, but one of the cute, clear ones. Great shoes, just so many great gifts.”

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