TV & Movies

Brandon & Serene Broke Up After Their Bachelor In Paradise Engagement

The pair shared a joint statement on Instagram.

Serene and Brandon on 'Bachelor in Paradise.' Photo via ABC
ABC/Craig Sjodin

Last summer, Brandon Jones and Serene Russell quickly became the fan-favorite couple of Bachelor in Paradise Season 8. Fans were already shipping the pair before they even hit the beach — and once they were officially coupled up, there was no question of their commitment to each other. They glided past the drama of split week and, until May 2023, were the only couple from Season 8 to remain engaged. So naturally, it came as a huge surprise when Brandon and Serene announced they broke up.

“After many months, today we have ultimately decided to end our engagement,” the exes wrote in a May 8 Instagram post. “We have tried to work privately on our relationship which has been incredibly challenging in the public eye. This has been immensely hard to accept and painful, as there is a lot of love between the two of us. We are deeply hurting and can only ask that there be no hate. The best path for us at this time is to try and move forward and heal from this as individuals.”

Several of Brandon and Serene’s fellow Bachelor Nation alums commented their support. “Healing publicly is difficult,” wrote Katie Thurston. “Sending you both love and strength during this time. ❤️.”

Michael Allio, who left Paradise with Danielle Maltby, also shared his support. “Two great people. Sending love your way ❤️.”

Victoria Fuller and Johnny DePhillipo, who were the only other couple to get engaged on Paradise Season 8 — but since broke up — commented their love, too. “Both are amazing people 🖤,” wrote Johnny. “So much love for the both of you❤️,” wrote Victoria.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

A beloved Bachelor couple’s breakup is always a sad surprise — but if you keep up with the franchise discourse on Reddit, you might have seen this one coming. In fact, there have been rumblings about Brandon and Serene’s split for a while now. On April 24, u/Newbiewho pointed out that the couple was “subtly deleting or archiving” photos with each other on Instagram, fueling speculation that they might be ending things.

When Bustle caught up with the pair in November, after their Bachelor in Paradise engagement aired, they were in a very different place. “We want to get married in 2024,” Brandon said at the time. “We’re figuring out the season, the time of year ... of course, she’s been on Pinterest pinning everything.”