Hayden Markowitz had a brief but intense stint on Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey’s season of The Bachelorette, starting with his charming Southern accent and ending with a dumpster fire of shade and disrespect. After Hayden called Rachel and Gabby “b*tches” and told other contestants he didn’t trust them, Rachel sent him home. Now, after his elimination’s airing, Hayden took to Instagram to apologize to both Gabby and Rachel.
On Episode 3 of The Bachelorette, Hayden decided to make it clear to Gabby that he was only interested in pursuing Rachel by calling her “rough around the edges,” which hit Gabby hard. And as Bachelor Nation villains are known to do, he didn’t stop there. In Episode 4, Hayden was seen gossiping with the other contestants at the mansion, insulting both Gabby and Rachel, comparing Rachel to his ex, and seemingly objectifying her in front of a big group of other contestants. By the end of the episode, James “Meatball” Clarke took it upon himself to share this bombshell with Rachel, which led a swift, and very celebrated, breakup.
Following all this, Hayden has come to pick up the pieces via Instagram.
“I genuinely want to express my deepest apologies to both Gabby and Rachel for my actions. I take full responsibility for not being the man I was raised to be in those moments, especially towards these two wonderful deserving ladies who I truly do respect,” Hayden wrote in an IG caption on Aug. 1. He also said this was his lowest moment and that he wasn’t prepared for the show because of “the current things going on in my life.” (Although he wasn’t explicit in the post, fans can probably assume he’s talking at least in part about his dog, Rambo, whose illness came up in Episode 4.)
Hayden ended the apology post by saying he hopes Gabby and Rachel can forgive him, but it’s not clear if that will happen anytime soon. On the Aug. 2 episode of Bachelor Happy Hour, Gabby and Rachel spoke about their experience with Hayden on the show. Referring to Hayden calling Gabby “rough around the edges,” Rachel said, “I felt horrible seeing how the conversation [with Gabby] actually went and that Hayden was still given the benefit of the doubt. He should've been done right then and there.” Rachel also clarified that she had no idea that Hayden’s behavior was caught on camera.
Gabby was especially put off by Hayden’s public comments about the incident. “It's kind of upsetting that you need a public response to make you understand what you did wrong,” she said, referencing both Hayden and fellow contestant Jacob Rapini’s rude rejections of her. “[Jacob and Hayden] were especially not sorry in the moment. Now, months later, nothing's changed except Bachelor Nation is coming for them.”
Both Gabby and Rachel said Hayden has not reached out to them privately at the time of the podcast’s recording.
The Bachelorette continues Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.