TV & Movies

Tino Reveals Why He Cheated On Rachel & What Happened With Aven After AFR

“It's the biggest mistake of my life.”

During an Oct. 20 appearance on Nick Viall's podcast, Tino Franco opened up about his 'Bachelorette'...
ABC/Craig Sjodin

Rachel Recchia and Tino Franco’s Bachelorette breakup led to, as Jesse Palmer promised, “the most shocking finale of all time.” Despite Tino being an early frontrunner for Rachel’s heart and ultimately proposing, the California-based contractor kissed another woman after the show aired, leading to Rachel ending things altogether — and maybe opening up the door for Rachel and Aven Jones to reconnect.

However, After the Final Rose, which aired Sept. 20, did leave viewers with some lingering questions about the specifics of Rachel and Tino’s split. One month later, on Oct. 20, Tino appeared on Nick Viall’s podcast to address his Bachelorette cheating scandal, and what’s happened since.

During his appearance, Tino called cheating on Rachel “the biggest mistake of [his] life,” and opened up about the factors that led to their relationship disconnect toward the end. The pair started to feel “a little distant” as the promotional cycle for the show started this summer, Tino explained. “I think we both had a lot of pressure on ourselves. You feel like you're under a spotlight.”

Tino, who’s been seeing a therapist, said an anxious attachment style could explain why he perceived disagreements with Rachel as bigger than they were. “I think kind of catastrophically, so, like, my mind goes there, and it’s hard ... [to] be like, OK, what other interpretations could there be here? What positive interpretations could there be? And I just was unable to do that.”

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On one such occasion when Tino was “in the dumps,” he went out with friends and was getting attention from women — one of whom he “gave in” and kissed. “And that wasn’t fair to that girl, either,” he said. “That wasn’t considerate of her feelings at all. Like, she didn’t want to be wrapped up in any of this.” Tino added that not telling Rachel right away was “as big of a mistake” as cheating on her.

Flash forward to After the Final Rose, which Tino described as “mean.”

“I would have thought with them knowing how, like, much I’d been struggling, [the show] wouldn’t go there,” he said, adding that he spent the previous day “locked in the bathroom of the trailer ... crying.”

Tino doesn’t blame Rachel or Aven for his bad experience, though. In fact, after Aven asked Rachel on a date during the special, he texted Tino to apologize for the accidental ambush. “He reached out the night of AFR ... and just said, ‘Hey, I’m really sorry. Like, you know that. That was tough.’ And then we talked on the phone the next day, too. He's a class-act dude.”

Rachel previously told Variety that it “was not Aven’s choice” how it all went down, and Tino acknowledged that. “I think he just went there with the intention of cheering up Rachel because, you know, seeing an ex after four weeks, when there was a pretty crushing breakup, like, understandably would be hard on anybody.”