‘The Bachelorette’ Stars Respond to Clayton Echard & Insist no Malice Was Intended

Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia

ABC "The Bachelorette" stars Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia pose by the mansion.

Viewers finally got their first look at Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia when their season of “The Bachelorette” premiered on July 11. Both women were blindsided by “The Bachelor” Clayton Echard right before the end of his season, and many of the new “Bachelorette” contestants referenced Echard during their first-night introductions. Echard, and his “Bachelorette” pick Susie Evans, shared their thoughts on it all after the premiere, and now Windey and Recchia are responding with their take. Fans will likely have strong opinions on the situation themselves.

Here’s what you need to know:

Echard Felt Bullied

Echard and Evans talked with Kaitlyn Bristowe on her podcast “Off the Vine” after the premiere. “The Bachelor” explained he is happy with where his life is now, and he tried not to take the many digs that aired during “The Bachelorette” premiere personally. Despite that, he felt as if the premiere went too far with the guys referencing him. “Do I think that’s what should have been shown? I mean, no. I do think it was cyberbullying or an attack or it’s going to lead to cyberbullying,” he explained.

Recchia and Windey chatted with Us Weekly after the premiere, and the release of Bristowe’s podcast, and addressed Echard and Evans’ comments. “I don’t think anyone meant anything malicious, I don’t think it’s truly slander, I think they were just trying to poke fun at it,” Windey said of “The Bachelorette” suitors and their introductions. Recchia nodded and agreed with Windey as she spoke.

“Of course, no one was ever using his name maliciously or to be mean or bully him,” Recchia added. “Of course, we would have maybe liked to hear it a little less, I’m sure he would have as well, but it was, kind of, all in good fun in a way to try to connect with us,” she added. Windey also pointed out that the filming of these introductions took place just a week after “The Bachelor” finale, so at that point, it was all still fresh on everybody’s minds.

The Ladies Don’t Think There Was Any Ill Intent

Windey and Recchia agreed they understood Echard’s feelings, although they hoped “it doesn’t really play like that,” in the sense that it was mean and bullying. “The Bachelorette” stars also suggested that watching the many digs at Echard now, so many months later, “has kind of a bigger feel.” The ladies agreed they understood where Echard and Evans were coming from, but remained insistent there had been no ill intent with so many of the men making jokes at Echard’s expense during the first night of filming.

Fans seem divided on the situation. In response to Windey and Recchia’s comments, one viewer tweeted, “it was 100% malicious!! ONE guy ‘poking fun’ at it is 1 thing but multiple and that ridiculous song?!? CLASSLESS!!!!!!”On the flip side, one Instagram commenter wrote, “For the love of god STOP asking them about Susie and Clayton. They’re clout chasers just looking to hold onto their fading relevancy. I’m ready to never hear about them again.” There may be additional references to Echard as “The Bachelorette” season plays out, but it seems safe to say that everybody is ready to move on, and any additional references ahead should be minimal compared to the premiere.

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