'Bachelor in Paradise': Pieper and Brendan Speak Out After Causing Drama on the Beach

The duo faced criticism for their pre-Paradise relationship.

Pieper James and Brendan Morais are speaking out. The pair of models each took to their Instagram Stories to address the controversy that surrounded them on Monday night's episode of Bachelor in Paradise.

Pieper arrived to the beach with her sole focus on Brendan, whom she was linked to pre-Paradise. While Brendan assured Natasha Parker, his BiP love interest, that things were "casual" with Pieper before arriving in Mexico, that story fell apart when Pieper showed up.

"Just a gentle reminder that reality TV isn't real," Pieper wrote in her post. "An edited, produced, and cut down show isn't going to show you every single thing said and done. An edited and produced show can't show you conversations that happened before filming between friends."

Brendan began his post by writing that he has "realized I was wrong on so many different levels."

"Most importantly I apologize to you Natasha. I hurt you. I am deeply sorry for doing so," he wrote. "I understand that the damage is already done and all I can do going forward is to acknowledge the error of my ways. For those of you that felt my actions triggered certain feelings and emotions I am truly sorry."

Instagram / Brendan Morais

Before the episode aired on Monday, both Pieper and Brendan took to Instagram to lean into their apparent villain roles, an action Natasha called out by retweeting a message that slammed the pair for their "disrespect." 

For his part, Brendan shared a shirtless pool selfie, which he captioned, "here for the wrong reasons." He has since deleted the post.

"I removed my last post from my feed," he explained. "I posted it before the episode aired and had no idea the magnitude of hurt that I caused. My approach to many things in life is sarcasm. In this instance with regard to my post, I was completely insensitive."

Meanwhile, Pieper danced to Lizzo's track, "Rumors," on her Instagram Story, and wrote "all's fair in love and war" in a post on her feed. 

"I make light of this show because it's a lighthearted show," Pieper wrote. "I don't believe in pitting women against each other. I don't believe men are prizes to be won at the expense of someone's feelings. I believe in open communication to get answers, not name calling on the internet."

In concluding their post-show statements, Pieper once again wrote about the show's editing, while Brendan asked people to blame him for the situation over Pieper.

"At the end of the day it's a TV show," Pieper wrote. "We the viewers are shown what makes the best television, just as any show. And folk [sic] what we have here is a very successful show."

"Despite the fact that Pieper and I had misunderstandings going into paradise (and I can't stress that enough) -- If you feel the need to express disdain for the situation, please do so at my expense. I am completely at fault," Brendan wrote, before promising that "a full statement and apology will follow."

Instagram / Pieper James

Upon her arrival to Paradise, Pieper was quick to ask Brendan on a date without talking to any other men -- something that Natasha found "fishy" -- and the pair's Paradise plans soon came to light.

"There are certain things that had to be done and certain ways I had to navigate this to bring us to this particular moment," Brendan told Pieper on their date, alluding to his time with Natasha. "I can’t have a girlfriend entering this journey… It’s just not a good look. So if I tell everyone, 'Pieper might be coming, so no one talk to me,' I’d just be sitting, tanning, and what would happen is I would go home. And then you’d be here [without me]. So I was navigating this in a way to allow myself to potentially, hopefully, be here while you’re here."

Pieper responded by thanking Brendan for "playing the game." 

"Trust me and trust what we’ve built prior to this. No matter how you feel in certain moments, the optics of it might look weird and awkward… Trust me," Brendan said. "We have to have each other’s back. It has to be you and me first and foremost before anyone else… That’s the only way we’re going to get through this being in the position we want to be in, utilizing this time here and taking advantage of what Paradise would promote together." 

Pieper went on to refer to Brendan as her "boyfriend," while he defended his actions with Natasha by saying that she had "zero other prospects" on the beach.

Natasha called Brendan "a liar," but he appeared unaffected. In fact, Brendan and Pieper ended the episode discussing their then-growing follower counts on social media. As of Thursday morning, Brendan has lost more than 85,000 Instagram followers, while Pieper has lost more than 8,000.

Bachelor in Paradise's second episode of the week will air Tuesday, Sept. 7, on ABC. Check out all of ET's coverage for the latest drama on the beach.



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