In the wake of their Bachelor In Paradise scandal, Pieper James and Brendan Morais went from unrepentant to silent. Realizing Bachelor Nation was firmly against them, they deleted their remorseless Instagram captions. (If you need a refresher, Pieper’s said, “All’s fair in love and war,” while Brendan’s read, “Here for the wrong reasons.”) And, with the exception of Brendan’s seven-minute apology video on Sept. 16, they stopped publicly talking about the Paradise drama, their treatment of Natasha Parker, and their romantic relationship altogether. That is, until Pieper James’ Bachelor Happy Hour interview on Oct. 13.
Speaking to Becca Kufrin, the podcast’s host, Pieper got into the nitty-gritty of her current situation with Brendan, especially in light of their reputations as BIP villains. And although navigating romance amid a very public backlash might not be for everyone, Pieper and Brendan are still together and sound just fine. “We’re together. It was a rumor that we broke up,” she explained. Not only that, but Pieper said that she and Brendan are “stronger” for all they went through together.
“I'm happy with Brendan as controversial as that might be to say,” Pieper added. Controversial is definitely the right word.
As happy as Brendan and Pieper may be together, their reputations make it impossible for them to have the typical Bachelor Nation love story, complete with several IGTV compilation videos. So in the absence of sappy social media posts, here’s a rundown of how their romance is going (so far).
Pieper Isn’t Happy That Brendan Lied To Natasha
Pieper made one thing very clear in her Bachelor Happy Hour interview: Her relationship with Brendan has not been “peaches and rainbows the whole time.” Speaking about the way Brendan coupled with Natasha to “play the game,” so he could still be on the beach for Pieper’s arrival, Pieper explained that she did not approve — like, at all.
She told Becca, “It’s hurtful to see that lie [Brendan telling Natasha he had stronger feelings her than he ever had for Pieper], like, let’s just call it a lie. It’s hurtful to see that lie, you know, if he really had these strong feelings for me, to say to somebody else to gain any type of anything. Like, that’s not fair to Natasha.”
She continued, “I have nothing but the utmost respect for her, so it’s not fair that was her experience. It’s not fair that he said those things, and I don’t condone those actions... Obviously, in that situation, I sympathize the most with Natasha because nobody deserves to be treated like that. Nobody deserves to, like, think they’re building this strong connection just to have that, you know, flip the next day.”
Pieper Had A Lot Of Questions For Brendan — And They *Still* Haven’t All Been Answered
Natasha was definitely the most hurt by Brendan’s actions, but Pieper didn’t come out of this situation completely unscathed, either. Specifically, when Brendan told Natasha that he felt a stronger connection with her than he ever did with Pieper, it sparked a lot of questions.
“It kind of made me start to question a lot of things that I thought, you know, beforehand. And it wasn’t so much accusatory. I just really wanted to know, like, I thought this, but where were you, like, at this point in time? Because, you know, I was going there for Brendan,” Pieper explained. “So we did have a lot of those conversations, like walking through before and during [Paradise], like, what did that mean to you? Did I misconstrue it?”
Still, Pieper hasn’t gotten total clarity from Brendan just yet. When Becca asked how he explained telling Natasha he had a stronger connection than he did with Pieper, the Paradise cast member said she still didn’t have a “straight answer on that.”
Shrugging, she explained, “Um, I mean, not great. It’s kind of like, I haven’t really got a straight answer on that. And I would love to know, um, I think that’s kind of part of the reason we’re keeping our relationship pretty, like, on the down-low. Because I do still have questions about the experience. I do still have questions about those things that happened before I got there.”
Pieper Thinks The Backlash Made Them Stronger
In spite of everything (the backlash, Brendan’s treatment of Natasha, and the remaining unanswered questions), Pieper still believes that her relationship with Brendan is stronger for what they went through together.
She explained, “It did make us stronger in the way that, like, right away we knew how we communicated in arguments. Right away we knew how we dealt with, like, exterior bad things... It was good to kind of have that feedback and know, you know, down the line if something comes up, how we both kind of deal with those things.”
Although this might not be a love story that Bachelor Nation can get behind, (at least, not yet) Brendan and Pieper don’t seem to mind. Turns out, feeling like it’s us against the world can really bring people together — for better or for worse.