Telling her side. Former Bachelorette star Gabby Windey has spoken out amid her fiancé, Erich Schwer‘s blackface and text message scandals. “We’re seeing how we can become better from both,” the ABC star said, in part.
Following the news of their engagement, which was announced during The Bachelorette live finale on Tuesday, September 20, Gabby, 31, reflected on Erich’s two scandals that had gone public following his stint on the show. First, she addressed the photo of the New Jersey native in blackface, which surfaced online earlier this month.
“I was incredibly shocked,” Gabby told People in an interview released on Wednesday, September 21. “[I] just really had to process my thoughts and then think about how we can grow as a couple and learn from this.”
Erich, for his part, apologized via Instagram, writing that his actions were “nothing but ignorance.” He added, “I am deeply ashamed by my actions and understand that my apology is only the first step in taking accountability.”
Days later, Erich’s ex-girlfriend text messages that the season 19 contestant sent before he went on the show. In the screenshots, Erich shared that he planned to go on the show off “a fresh start and a new career path.” It was apparent that he was skeptical about the ability to find love, since he referred to the reality show as “all acting” in a separate message. Erich addressed the messages for the first time during The Bachelorette live finale, admitting that he handled the whole situation “poorly.”shared
However, Gabby knew about the messages before they went public.
“I was expecting the text messages,” she told People. “He was scared they were going to leak and I’m like, ‘You have to prepare yourself now and tell me the truth.’ And he did, so there’s not really anything I can say or do.”
It appears that the couple got through it stronger than ever.
“Ultimately it was a time for us to take a step back and reflect on our relationship and see if we can get through this,” Gabby shared. “You have to really lead on your communication, be really honest with each other while having these tough conversations. We’re seeing how we can become better from both.”
The Dancing With the Stars contestant noted that their “commitment to each other is there.” Gabby explained, “Now it’s just doing the hard work, which is getting to know each other, more communication, really strengthening those building blocks before we get to the altar.”