After Zach Shallcross ended things with Gabi Elnicki on the finale of The Bachelor, the two came face-to-face in a live After the Final Rose segment. It was the first time they spoke since breaking up in Thailand months earlier, and also the first time that Gabi got to address their fantasy suite drama. Zach and Gabi had sex in the fantasy suite, despite him saying that he didn’t want to not sleep with anyone that week. He then shared that news with Kaity Biggar, and all of America watching, which was very upsetting for Gabi.
Gabi admitted to host Jesse Palmer that it was ‘violating’ to have Zach share their intimate moment with the public. She then got to air her feelings to Zach himself. “You and I both know on the beach [that day], some of the moments behind my emotions and what led me to that point,” Gabi said. “You were so supportive, you said you had my back and I felt so protected by you. I’m disappointed by how everything in the evening portion was aired, because there’s so much to our night that wasn’t.”
Gabi explained that she and Zach talked about so much more than intimacy, including mental health, therapy and their insecurities. “[The sex] was a moment we shared together and we were both happy about that and it was consensual, and what we wanted. We decided it was going to be between us,” she continued. “We said it that night and I remember I was brushing my teeth and you came up behind me and kissed me on the back of my head and you said, ‘This is just between us.'”
So, when Zach came to Gabi’s hotel room to tell her that he wanted to be honest about the situation with the other women, she felt “blindsided” by him. “I can see your point of view there, but I wish was that you warned me that you were going to use my name and you were going to tell everyone what happened, because I didn’t know you were going to do that,” Gabi admitted. “Even when you talked to me in my hotel, it was just, ‘I don’t want secrets.’ It was never, ‘Hey, this happened, and it was with Gabi.’ I actually didn’t know you had told everyone until I watched it back last week.”
The whole situation was hard enough for Gabi, but watching it back on television and seeing how things came out made it even harder. “It was beyond a TV show for me,” Gabi insisted. “I feel ashamed from a moment that felt like love to me. It was very painful that I went through this. You were only speaking to Kaity in that moment. Ariel didn’t know. I didn’t know until watching it back. I wish you would’ve just sent me home and saved me all that pain that just went on and on. I’m living it all over again, but way worse than when I left Thailand because Im seeing it from a different point of view. I just thought it was between us. I thought it was love. I thought it was more than a TV show. I get it…sex sells, but now I’ve become a narrative.”
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much time for Zach to respond, but he did apologize to Gabi. “The way I handled things was completely wrong,” Zach admitted. “There’s no excuse for the way I handled things. I felt like I needed to let everyone know I went against my word, and it really hurt you. In my mind, it was just this secret I had to not have anymore, but in reality, it was so much more than that. There’s nothing I can do to right that wrong, but I want you to know that the last thing I wanted was to hurt you like that. It was just me purely trying to be honest. That doesn’t matter, though, because it hurt you more. My actions have consequences. From the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry and I hope you know that our relationship we shared, is something that I will never forget. It doesn’t discredit what we shared.”