Pieper James is speaking out amid the fallout from her Bachelor in Paradise drama with Brendan Morais and Natasha Parker.
“I didn’t go into Paradise with the intention of hurting anyone, nor would I ever want to be the reason why someone had a bad experience. I went in excited to see a guy that I had connected with and liked before the show started filming, and was looking forward to seeing if that connection would grow into something more,” the 24-year-old reality TV personality told Us Weekly in an exclusive statement. “I had a friendship with Natasha before the show and had spoken to her about me and Brendan talking. With that said, I am truly sorry for any hurt that I caused her and hope that I get the opportunity to speak to her soon and make things right.”
Pieper went on to address her initial statement about how “reality TV isn’t real,” in which she reminded her followers on Tuesday, September 7, that Bachelor in Paradise is an “edited and produced” series.
“I’m not an extension of Brendan and his actions, and I don’t condone dishonest behavior. I got caught up in the moment while I was with Brendan in Paradise, and while I don’t fully blame editing, it doesn’t always tell the whole story,” she concluded to Us.
Brendan, 31, came under fire earlier in the season after the cast of BiP discussed reports that he and Pieper dated pre-show. (Us broke the news of their romance in June.) When the Bachelor season 25 alum arrived in Mexico on the Monday, September 6, episode of Bachelor in Paradise, she immediately asked the Bachelorette season 16 contestant out on a date, leaving Natasha, 33, who he was seeing on the beach, confused. While Brendan continued to downplay the nature of his relationship with Pieper, she admitted to the “Click Bait” cohost that they went out 10 times and were dating without “labels” before production began.
The twosome were subsequently seen discussing their Instagram follower counts — which have since plummeted — and Brendan has been called out for dissing Natasha for having no other “prospects” on the show. He broke his silence via Instagram Stories on Wednesday, September 8.
“After taking time to begin to process the events that unfolded over the past few days, I have realized I was wrong on so many different level [SIC]. First of all I removed my last post from my feed. I posted it before the episode aired and had no idea the magnitude of hurt that I caused,” Brendan wrote, referring to his “Here for the wrong reasons” Instagram caption on Monday. “My approach to many things in life is sarcasm. In this instance with regard to my post, I was completely insensitive. Most importantly I apologize to you Natasha. I hurt you. I am deeply sorry for doing so. I understand that the damage is already done and all I can do going forward is acknowledge the error of my ways.”
Brendan concluded: “For those of you that felt my actions triggered certain feelings and emotions I am truly sorry. Lastly, despite the fact that Pieper and I had misunderstandings going into paradise (and I can’t stress this enough) – if you feel the need to express disdain for the situation, please do so at my expense. I am completely at fault. A full statement and apology will follow.”
Bachelor in Paradise airs on ABC Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.