Brendan Morais and Pieper James are apparently no longer in paradise. The controversial Bachelor in Paradise couple reportedly broke up because the public backlash to their on-air antics was too much to handle, according to E! News and Us Weekly. (Pieper’s rep declined to comment on the rumored split to Elite Daily and Brendan didn’t comment in time for publication.)
“Things went downhill once Paradise started airing,” a source claimed to Us Weekly on Oct. 1. According to the insider, Pieper “got to see what really happened” before she joined Brendan on the beach. She reportedly “had no idea” that Brendan was involved with anyone else. “She wasn’t OK with everything that unfolded thus far,” the source claimed.
That apparently wasn’t the final nail in the coffin, though. “They tried to make it work but ended up deciding it was best to break up,” Us Weekly’s source claimed.
A source close to the former couple shared similar claims with E! on Sept. 30. "They decided to split and focus on themselves. Pieper thinks it's best for her to spend time reevaluating her life."
According to that same source, Pieper is eager to put this experience behind her. “She thinks this is a good life lesson, but wants to move on."
Fans of the show initially saw Brendan pursue Natasha Parker, but once Pieper arrived on the beach, his interests quickly shifted. She referred to him as her “boyfriend” and implied that they had planned to do a stint on the show together to grow their Instagram follower counts. After a tense argument with their fellow cast members, the duo left the beach early to focus on their budding relationship. (Ironically, they’ve both lost thousands of followers since the incident aired.)
On Sept. 8, Brendan posted an apology note on his Instagram Story. “After taking time to begin to process the events that unfolded over the past few days, I have realized I was wrong on so many different levels,” he wrote. “... Most importantly I apologize to you Natasha. I hurt you. I am so deeply sorry for doing so. I understand that the damage is already done and all I can do going forward is acknowledge the error of my ways.” He also stressed that he and Pieper had “misunderstandings going into Paradise,” and promised a lengthier apology was on its way.
Pieper spoke to Us Weekly about the situation on Sept. 9. “I’m not an extension of Brendan and his actions, and I don’t condone dishonest behavior,” she said, adding her romantic relationship wasn’t the only casualty of the drama. “I had a friendship with Natasha before the show and had spoken to her about me and Brendan talking.”
Brendan delivered his second apology, a seven-minute Instagram video, on Sept. 17. “Pieper and I were not in an exclusive relationship,” he said. “I absolutely went to Paradise [as] a single man. … As far as Pieper and I having this big, elaborate plan, I’m not the smartest person in the world, for sure, but I feel like it would have gone just a little bit better than it did if we had this plan. Of course, it went horrible in every way.”
He also had some, uh, lovely words about his romantic choices. “If I wanted the max amount of followers, I would not have pursued Pieper or Natasha,” he explained. “I would have went after a girl with a million followers.” Well, OK then!
Natasha has spoken out about the love triangle, too. She gave a heartbreaking interview to Entertainment Tonight on Sept. 16 and reflected on the most painful part of her experience. “Honestly, the disregard for a human [was the worst part],” she said. “The disregard for me. He literally told her, ‘I had to do things and navigate things in a way to stay here.’ And clearly, I was the casualty ... There was never a, ‘Well, how do you think Natasha feels?’ and ‘Well, what about Natasha?' ... That was the most shocking, awful thing, in my opinion.”
Hopefully, the three of them can move on in peace now — separately.