John Hersey did admit that their relationship timeline 'seems fast and messy.'
Katie Thurston's new man is defending their relationship. In a lengthy post to Reddit on Friday, John Hersey denied accusations of wrongdoing in his relationship with the former Bachelorette, after her ex-fiancé, Blake Moynes, questioned the timeline of their romance. Multiple outlets confirmed that the Reddit account that penned the letter does in fact belong to John.
Blake and Katie met on her season of The Bachelorette. John was another one of Katie's suitors on the show, though he was sent home in the second week. During the show's August finale, Katie and Blake got engaged, but announced their split in October.
Katie and John openly maintained a post-show friendship, before November social media posts hinted at a romance between the pair. Multiple outlets reported that Katie and John's relationship was official shortly thereafter.
John began his post by addressing the "wild couple [of] days" that followed his and Katie's relationship reveal, noting that it "hurts" him that "SO many of you build assumptions and throw around accusations based on very limited knowledge of a situation."
"Katie and I developed an incredible and deep friendship over the last half year or so. The circumstances by which this friendship formed was a series of crazy, random, and coincidental events, that I’m sure you will all hear about at a later time," he wrote. "My point for now, is that we were ALWAYS platonic. Even during my short stint on the season, we never had a chance to foster anything romantic."
John continued by writing that "the boundaries" of his friendship with Katie "never even required addressing, because it was never a thought in our minds that we would ever be anything more."
"You guys -- she was engaged. It is apparent that many of you misjudge how both her and I view that commitment," John wrote. "Neither Katie nor I would ever cheat, push someone to cheat, or be involved in cheating. It is not in our nature. It is not acceptable. It is not OK... There was no wrongdoing prior to the end of their engagement."
During a past appearance on the Talking It Out With Bachelor Nation podcast, Blake questioned as much, stating, "I really don't think there was any physical cheating there, but there's clearly emotional for it to transition as quickly as it did."
"[John] had more into it or was at least pursuing it or something or wanted something to be hanging out with her all the time," Blake said. "... I put my full trust in there's nothing more than literally just a friendship. I think it just was, but it allowed them to form something, at least emotionally, where they could see something with each other that made it so easy for them to transition when this ended."
While John admitted that "the timeline seems fast and messy," he urged Bachelor Nation to "put yourselves in our shoes."
"Once Katie and I realized there was a romantic connection that we were interested in exploring, we were not starting from scratch; we were building off of the foundation of a close friendship through which, we had already gotten to know each other so well," he wrote. "The speed at which I fell for this incredible, nurturing, and genuinely caring human being was honestly terrifying. I was scared. But every step of the way felt so right."
"We knew that the only difficult part would be the optics of it all," John continued. "And that’s a s**tty thing -- worrying about how a natural and organic connection will be viewed by hundreds of thousands of people."
The timeline was another thing Blake questioned during his podcast interview, largely due to Katie's "12 Days of Messy" social media challenge, which began two weeks after their breakup and ended with her relationship reveal.
"She probably had an idea two weeks after that who was going to be number 12 and how she was going to announce it," Blake theorized. "... She at least had some emotional connection, right? It happened too quickly. How? Two weeks after! There had to be something there. He provided her something that she really liked that made the transition easy, that I wasn't giving her or something."
John additionally addressed those people who believe he and Katie should've waited to go public with their relationship, writing, "I understand. I hear you. But try to understand what it’s like for me, a regular guy, falling helplessly for his best friend, not being able to take her out for dinner because photos would likely leak and everybody would assume we were trying to foster some sort of secret and scandalous relationship, haha."
Their decision to go public, John wrote, was made in order "to pursue happiness in the way we wanted."
John ended his note by apologizing "to those of whom have felt emotionally triggered by how our actions have been perceived."
"It deeply saddens me to think that my and Katie’s relationship could have been a source of anxiety for ANYONE," he wrote. "As I mentioned before, cheating in any form is unacceptable, and I’m sorry if it looked as though either of us were taking advantage of anyone’s trust. I have tried to respond directly to those individuals that were affected, but I know that I don’t have the capability of finding absolutely everyone; so I hope this message finds you well."
During his podcast interview, Blake expressed his hope that this marks the end of his saga with Katie.
"I hope it just works and [they] just go. I'm done being attached to this. This messiness," he said. "This last little straw is very frustrating for me to want to keep holding on to being like no regrets, no regrets. I just want it to go away... I'm good. It is what it is."
"I just want to kind of forget about it now," Blake added. "... We weren't supposed to be together. We both know that. I think we're both thankful that we found that out early enough that this didn't drag out. I just wish her, I guess and John, the best moving forward, because we just want to forget now and move on. Next chapter coming up."