"I'm supporting him because I think he needs it. He's had so many people be supportive of him and be there as his friend, but when the show started airing, he didn't see a majority of those people," Schulman said at the Bachelor in Paradise season six finale taping, which will air on Tuesday. "So, he feels a form of betrayal and that nobody was there for him."
"I just continue as someone to hold his hand and show that, 'Hey, I've been here for you for a year,'" she added.
Horstmann's drama started on day one of Bachelor in Paradisethis season, when Caelynn Miller-Keyes accused him of leading her to believe they had a relationship earlier this year, and then asking her to lie about their Stagecoach hookup -- where he also slept with Schulman (his ex at the time), and pursued other women. The drama made its way off the show on Aug. 6, when Horstmann shared his private text messages with Miller-Keyes, in an effort to defend himself from her allegations. He returned to social media on Monday.
"I haven't seen him in this position ever before, and it was hard to watch, but I think it's his position to say [if he was in a dark place]," Schulman told ET.
Derek Peth said that he at least tried to reach out to Horstmann. "I talked to Blake a little bit the past few months to say, 'Look, we love you, we know you're not a bad person and give support.' I wasn’t aware that he was going to release the text messages," he shared. "I think he's got some growth to go through and full faith that he actually will."
Horstmann wasn't the only one who found himself with some fan backlash for his appearance on Paradise, however. Schulman also earned some critical comments online about her vow early on in the season to make Horstmann her "b**ch."
"OK, that was a complete joke!" she explained. "I remember talking to one of the producers and I was like, 'Hey, I wanna have fun. I wanna be funny... because I do have this sense of humor."
"I did receive a lot of backlash," Schulman said. "We're all real people, and the fact that Blake is getting it, I think I got the kind of leftovers of that hate for choosing to keep him around. My choice to keep him around was to like, he deserves to find love and I see the genuine in him, not to like make him a b**ch or whatever."
Schulman stands by all those friendship roses. "I can do whatever I want with a rose," she reasoned, noting that she's still frustrated by the way her conversation with Caitlin Clemmens went. "That was unfortunate about that situation. She kept going after me like, 'Hey, what are you intentions?' And I'm like, 'My intention is...' She goes, 'Well what are you doing here?' That was frustrating for me."
Fans will see the Bachelor in Paradise cast come face-to-face on the show's season finale, airing Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Join ET's Bachelor Nation Facebook group here.