Tanner Tolbert Defended 'Bachelorette' Contestant Peter Amid The Drama With His Ex For These Simple Reasons
Peter's ex drama continues to divide Bachelor Nation. Throwing in his two cents, Tanner Tolbert defended The Bachelorette's Peter Weber in a July 17 Entertainment Tonight interview. The ongoing debate, of course, began in light of a recent claim made by Peter's ex, Calee Lutes, that the pilot reportedly "betrayed" her to go on the ABC reality dating show and compete for Hannah's heart. While Tanner sided with Peter, the Bachelor in Paradise alum did not fully absolve him either.
"Do I think Peter was a little shady with this girl, based upon the story? Yes. Do I think he was a good boyfriend to this girl? Probably not. But do I think he's OK to break up with her for whatever reason he wants? Yes," Tolbert explained on ET's Roses and Roses Live.
"People break up every day in the real world for a zillion different reasons. And to be honest, getting the chance to go on a TV show is a decent reason, if you want to. He obviously valued this TV show opportunity more than their relationship, and that's his call."
According to Lutes' e-mail correspondence with ET, Peter reportedly abruptly ended their five-month, long-distance relationship last December. The model claims she was blindsided by the breakup, given, she stated, that they'd both said "I love you," had met each other's family, and planned to move in together. Lutes further alleged that Peter interviewed for The Bachelorette while "planning a future" with her.
Tolbert's thoughts on the matter, however, are that the timing is irrelevant, especially given that they'd only been together for five months, and Peter didn't begin filming The Bachelorette until March.
"They broke up in December, and at least he had the decency to end it right then," Tolbert added to ET. "So it was a five-month relationship, they had been broken up for three months before filming even began. Again, do I think he was a little shady in it? Probably. Does it maybe show that he isn't ready to settle down? Maybe. But I think he didn't do anything wrong, per se. He's entitled to break up with someone if he wants."
Tolbert — whose wife, fellow BiP alum Jade Roper, is currently expecting their second child — also said Peter "very well could have" lead his ex on, but added that he thinks many Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants "are dating or talking to" other people prior to going on the show. Ultimately, he said, Peter is young and "entitled to feel whatever way he wants."
In the same interview, Jade also sided with Peter, based on additional information given by former Bachelor Nick Viall.
As she explained to ET:
"I also saw that Nick Viall tweeted, because he met Peter, something like that, and he said that Peter was scouted by the show, that he didn't apply, that someone didn't nominate him, that he didn't go through the normal casting process. So I feel like to say he was trying to get on the show while he was leading this girl on might be a little bit of a stretch with what people are saying."
Indeed, Nick had also defended Peter in a series of tweets on July 15. Per the Bachelor Nation vet, final round of Bachelorette casting doesn't begin until late Jan. "People who get broken up with almost always feel betrayed," he tweeted. "Everyone reading this text has probably broken up with someone they once said i love you to. She has her version, Pete has his But 1 things is clear. They broke up #thebachelorette"
One person neither Tanner nor Jade are going to bat for is Jed Wyatt, who's also the subject of his own ex scandal. (In June, Jed's former girlfriend, Haley Stevens, claimed the singer only went on The Bachelorette to further his music career — and that they were still dating when filming began.)
"I don't think it's anything close to the Jed situation, because Jed seemingly had a girlfriend," Tolbert shared with ET, adding that he's "not a Jed fan."
Jade also weighed into ET, adding: "[Jed] had a game plan, came into to play with Hannah's heart just to move his career up."
For now, however, they're giving Peter a pass, and fans will have to stay tuned to see if Hannah gives either man a chance to get down on one knee, very soon.