Bachelorette Alum John Hersey Addressed Rumors That Katie Cheated On Blake

“I understand that the timeline seems fast and messy.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 30: Katie Thurston and John Hersey attend Freeform Hosts 'Hallow...
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Though acknowledging the questionable optics of his new relationship, Bachelorette Season 17 alum John Hersey insists that Katie Thurston never cheated on Blake Moynes with him, nor did he cause their engagement to end. In an 800-word Reddit post, Hersey — whom Thurston eliminated during Week 2 of her season — explained that he and the former Bachelorette “developed an incredible and deep friendship over the last half year or so,” but were “ALWAYS platonic.” After all, up until a few weeks ago, Thurston had been engaged to Moynes since his finale proposal on the ABC reality dating competition.

“The boundaries of our friendship with respect to her ongoing relationship never even required addressing, because it was never a thought in our minds that we would ever be anything more,” Hersey wrote in the Nov. 26 post, noting that a “series of crazy, random and coincidental events” led to their initial friendship. “Neither Katie nor I would ever cheat, push someone to cheat or be involved in cheating. It is not in our nature. It is not acceptable. It is not OK. ... There was no wrongdoing prior to the end of their engagement.”

Assumptions and accusations to the contrary, he added, were hurtful, though he understood that the “timeline seems fast and messy.” After Thurston and Moynes announced their split on Oct. 25, the former Bachelorette lead confirmed less than a month later that she was dating Hersey, with whom she’d attended a Freeform Halloween event in Los Angeles on Sept. 30. In a Nov. 23 statement to People, Thurston’s rep explained that Hersey “has been there for her through all the major changes in her life and they are excited to explore this newly found romantic connection.”

As Hersey added in his Reddit letter, “Once Katie and I realized there was a romantic connection that we were interested in exploring, we were not starting from scratch; we were building off of the foundation of a close friendship through which we had already gotten to know each other so well. The speed at which I fell for this incredible, nurturing and genuinely caring human being was honestly terrifying. I was scared. But every step of the way felt so right.”

Moynes had a very different take, however, telling fellow Bachelorette alums Mike Johnson and Bryan Abasolo on their Talking It Out podcast that he was having a “hard time processing” the timeline of his ex’s new relationship. “There was clearly emotional [cheating] for it to transition as quickly as it did,” he said. “I don’t know if it was partially me too. Like, was she in some sense emotionally cheating to some degree?”

Before Thurston’s Bachelorette season even aired, fans were convinced that she and Hersey were engaged. The evidence? She posted a photo taken at San Diego-area restaurant Duke’s La Jolla — where contestant John Hersey reportedly worked as a bartender — on May 14 with the caption, “Something borrowed. Something blue.” Around the same time, she also mentioned wanting to move to San Diego multiple times. Later, Thurston shared in a Sept. 2 post that “internet rumors” led to the aspiring pilot “becoming a dear dear friend.”

Hersey concluded his Reddit statement by apologizing to anyone whose feelings were hurt in the process of him finding love: “I’m sorry if it looked as though either of us were taking advantage of anyone’s trust. I have tried to respond directly to those individuals that were affected.”