When Greg Grippo quit Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette, viewers were unsure of how to feel.
Some felt that Greg had merely listened to his heart and decided that he couldn’t continue with a woman who was unable to tell him that she loved him.
Others believed that he demonstrated a lack of understanding for how the show worked, and he should’ve allowed Katie to make her final decision before expecting any sort of commitments or grand proclamations.
Whatever the case, it was one of the most unexpected departures in franchise history, and it hung like a dark cloud over the rest of the season.
Even after Katie accepted Blake Moynes’ proposal, there was speculation that she was really in love with Greg.
And when Katie and Blake broke up, there were were rumors that she planned to go running back to Grippo.
That didn’t happen, of course, but it seems that many citizens of Bachelor Nation are still curious about what might have been for Katie and Greg.
Grippo appeared on the “We Met at Acme” podcast this week to answer some questions and address some of the allegations that viewers leveled at him after his abrupt departure.
(You may recall the rumors that Grippo was a professional actor who was merely interested in using the show to boost his career.)
“It was a really tough decision to leave. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to, you know, choose for myself,” Greg told listeners.
“It was tough, especially after hearing everyone saying like, ‘Oh, I was acting or I ran away when it got too serious,’” the New Jersey native explained, according to Us Weekly.
“I mean, for me, I’m like, ‘What if she said I love you back, guys?’ Like, I couldn’t leave then, you know, I would have known then [that] this is gonna be my wife, I wouldn’t have left.”
Greg makes an interesting point — if he was being disingenuous when he told Katie that he loved her and was looking for an excuse to exit the show, then that was quite a gamble.
After all, if she had reciprocated, he would’ve been in quite a bind!
No, Grippo claims that he was 100 percent sincere in his declaration of love.
In fact, he says it was Katie who was more interested in creating compelling television than in forming a lasting romance.
“It felt, like, a little too scripted and felt like, ‘Alright, we need to play by [the rules]’ — I had no problem going into, like, the fantasy suite and there being two other guys there,” Greg recalled.
“I wasn’t looking for the show to end. I wasn’t at all. I wanted us to communicate on a mutual level in those moments.”
Grippo went on to say that he understands that there are “steps” to filming a show like The Bachelorette, but he didn’t feel the “mutual love” from Katie, and so, he decided to take off.
“This is also the rest of my life. And if this is going to be the person I marry, I want it to be completely real,” Grippo explained.
“And, like, yeah, I want to show my family after and be like, ‘Look that we accomplished, look at what we went through,’” he continued.
“That’s one of the hardest things, I feel like, to make it out of the mud with someone, you know, [on] that damn dating show.”
Greg said he has no ill will for Katie, and unlike some Bachelorette viewers, he believes her feelings for Blake were sincere.
“I like to think on my end [that] the feelings that we had were real, but I just truly believe that she had stronger feelings for Blake [Moynes], who ended up getting engaged to her after,” he recalled.
“I mean, I was even calling producers after [I quit], I was DMing, like, Kaitlyn Bristowe — nobody was answering me — but I was like, ‘Is she with him? Did they end up together? Is she coming back to New Jersey?’” Greg said.
“I was calling producers left and right. I was also telling my family, I’m like, ‘Guys, I think there’s a better chance than not [we get back together] because let me tell you, it’s like very real between us.’”
These days, Katie is dating John Hershey, but even though her relationship with Greg ended in dramatic fashion, Grippo wants to impart to viewers that his was real, and there was no manipulation from either part.
“I felt like people were tossing around that word. … I’m, like, truly trying to understand what people were trying to say like, you know, [saying I was] really manipulating her mindset — and that’s the furthest thing from what I was trying to do,” he said.
“Not even a sliver of my intention was to gaslight her at all.”
Greg revealed he didn’t leave his bed for 10 days after he and Katie went their separate ways, but he says that these days, his mental health is on the upswing.
As messy as their breakup was, we’re sure Katie would be happy to hear that.