Said drama hit burn-down-the-beach levels of intensity and ended with Brendan and his his semi-secret, pre-show, Technically Not Official GF Pieper James leaving the beach early, practically chased out of Mexico by the anger and outrage of other contestants on the show. As it turned, Brendan and Pieper had forged a pretty strong romantic connection in the weeks before he left for Paradise and were both actively hoping to get to spend time together on the beach but, as they stressed over and over in their own defense, stopped short of labeling those feelings or their status ahead of filming.
Coming into any show in the Bachelor franchise with an S.O. is a bad look, obvi, but the way Brendan and Pieper handled the situation when they were reunited on BiP was extra sus and led a lot of people (both on the show and watching it all go down later on TV) to believe they were gaming the Bachelor system to gain followers/clout. Natasha Parker, who exchanged roses with Brendan in the weeks before Pieper made her entrance, ended up being the biggest casualty of the situation.
On Thursday, Brendan hopped on Instagram to share an apology video that clocked in at more than seven minutes long. In the video, he apologized for the general crime of being there for the wrong reasons but also took time to apologize directly to Natasha:
“I never meant to hurt you. I never meant to lead you on. I, truthfully and honestly, enjoyed spending time with you,” he said, adding that he was “really, really drawn to” Natasha’s “sweet, soft, kind nature” and “gentle spirit.”
Brendan said the real problem in the situation was his “inability to communicate,” implying that hadn’t really lied or been deceptive on BiP, but that the people he talked to (like Natasha) were just grossly misinterpreting what he was saying to them.
“I am not communicating in the way that I need to,” he said. “I’m saying one thing and it’s being received as something else, and I need to be concerned with how it’s being received and react accordingly.”
Brendan also ultimately blamed poor communication skills for some of the hurtful things he said about Natasha during private conversations with Pieper in which he said Natasha had “no prospects” and called her “annoying.”
“I thought I was being clear in the way I felt about her, saying that there was something missing—there was that romantic aspect missing—and me trying to slowly pull away from her,” he said of calling Natasha annoying. “And I was getting frustrated because I didn’t think she and her and I were on the same page, and...and clearly, we weren’t.”
For her part, Natasha has had time to reflect on the ordeal and says the worst thing was the ultimately how little she seemed to matter to Brendan on a basic human level.
“Honestly, the disregard for a human [was the worst part]. The disregard for me. He literally told her, ‘I had to do things and navigate things in a way to stay here.’ And clearly, I was the casualty,” Natasha explained to Entertainment Tonight. “There was never a ‘Well, how do you think Natasha feels?’ and ‘Well, what about Natasha?’....That was the most shocking, awful thing, in my opinion.”
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