Bachelor Peter Weber Says There's 'No Defending' Victoria F.'s 'White Lives Matter' Scandal (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
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Peter Weber says he can't support one of his frontrunner's choices from the past.
Bachelor contestant Victoria F.'s controversial past modeling gig has come to light over recent weeks -- and further highlighted after a Cosmopolitan cover she won as part of a group date on Monday's episode of the ABC dating show was pulled by the magazine. Her photos with Weber would have been published by the magazine.
In a letter posted on Cosmopolitan's website on Monday, editor-in-chief Jessica Pels explained that due to Victoria F.'s former modeling in clothing that featured the phrase "White Lives Matter," the cover will not be published on their website. Pels noted that it's been reported that the clothing was part of a Marlin Lives Matter organization, but said it's "neither here nor there" -- and that the magazine stands with the Black Lives Matter movement. The old modeling photos had come to light in recent weeks, and Pels said the magazine was not aware of them when the group date was filmed.
While speaking with ET's Lauren Zima on Wednesday, Weber says he was also not aware of the older photos during filming as he got to know Victoria F. Weber calls the situation "unfortunate," adding, "I, in no way, support that, obviously, and I hope she has a chance to address the public and make things right."
"Listen, I'm still learning about all of this in real-time just like everyone is because I'm just like everyone else," Weber says. "I had no idea any of her involvement in any campaign like that during our time together dating. I think it's unfortunate and a lot of the headlines have been taken out of context with my support about what she was doing and I encourage anyone to read the full article."
"I, in no way, support that type of campaign and I also do feel like, though, it wouldn't be appropriate for me right now to speak too much on that without giving her a chance to address the public and make an actual statement," he adds.
Weber speculates that Victoria F. may not have been "fully aware of what she was doing when she was modeling for that campaign."
"The Victoria that I got to know on the show, I never would have ever expected anything like this to come out with her," he says. "I've heard some possibilities of that she didn't know whether there was a confusion [over if] it's a fish company or something."
Despite that possibility, Weber says that "there's no defending" the "White Lives Matter" phrasing.
"It's unfortunate again that she partook in that and in that type of campaign," Weber says, adding that he felt Victoria F. would redo the situation if she could.
The "White Lives Matter" controversy isn't the only reason Victoria F. has made headlines recently. During her one-on-one date with Weber on the Jan. 27 episode, her ex, Chase Rice, was featured as the musical guest. Rice told ET he felt thrown under the bus by them coming face-to-face, and slammed the claims she made about their relationship on the show.
"He was singing to me and making these faces at me. He told me he didn't want me to come on the show. He didn't want me to come on here!" Victoria F. tearfully told a producer after his performance. She later told Weber, "We dated but I broke it off with him because his lifestyle doesn't really match up to what I want, and I knew I wanted to give this a try with you."
Rice told ET that contrary to Victoria F.'s claims, they weren't anything serious -- and that she was just "a girl that I hung out with one time." He also said that while he knew she was a contestant on the show, he never expected to perform during her date with Weber.
"If anybody wanted to go on that show, I would be the last person to try and stop 'em," he shared.
Though Weber was seen exchanging numbers with Rice during the episode, he tells ET that they have not spoken about both dating Victoria. Weber admits the episode was cringeworthy.