Bachelorette Emily Maynard could see a sexy, fun-filled future with contestant Arie Luyendyk Jr. He’s tall, dark and handsome, funny and smart — and a race car driver on the Indy car racing circuit.
Because she was engaged to NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick — the father of her 6-year-old daughter Ricki — when he died in an airplane crash in 2004, many feared Arie’s life behind the wheel would strike a painful chord with the 26-year-old.
It didn’t. Instead, it revved the single mom’s heart. “Arie’s such a great guy. He could be a taxi cab driver and I wouldn’t have cared,” Emily says. “Still, he’d be hot in a race car!”
But Emily’s hopes for her, Arie, and little Ricki came to a screeching halt recently when she discovered Arie had once been hot and heavy with one of the producers on the show!
Arie and one of the producers did date briefly — nine years ago — but they quickly called it off to save their friendship, a source says. So why keep it a secret?
Perhaps because from the get-go, Arie had the proverbial inside track to Emily’s roses, becoming one of the final three bachelors, according to sources who know how the pre-taped show unfolds. She even flew to Scottsdale, Ariz., to meet the 30-year-old’s parents, spies reveal.
“[When she found out,] she was furious. She’s not comfortable that this guy she started to fall for was with her producer,” an insider has said.
FOR MUCH MORE ON THE DRAMA SURROUNDING EMILY & ARIE, PICK UP THE NEW ISSUE OF OK! ON NEWSTANDS NOW!