Bachelorette‘s Jillian Harris and fiancé Ed Swiderksi are no strangers to public scrutiny and criticism in the tabloids, and now Jake Pavelka — who was a contestant on her season of the reality dating competition —is again facing criticism for his controversial relationship with now ex-fiancée Vienna Girardi.
“People think that [they] are just reality stars, relationships come and go, or they did it for publicity,” Jillian tells OK! of the couple’s split, which OK! was the first to report on.
“But the truth is someone is hurting here… Maybe [it’s] both of them, and that saddens me. Even if everyone thought they ‘weren’t meant to be,’ they wanted to be, or wanted to prove they could be. And it is always heartbreaking when your goals or dreams don’t quite amount up to what you wanted them to be.”
Jillian, who met Jake and Vienna at OK!’s Pre-Oscar Party back in March with Ed, shared her sympathy for the Bachelor alum: “I send big hugs to both of them and hope their hearts heal quickly, and people are easy on them. Again, to remind people who are quick to judge — they are just regular people, who really believed in love.”
The interior decorator has also shared with OK! that she and Ed have “hit a rough patch” recently, which has Jillian to “slow down” on the drinking, Ed “not so much.”
The couple has yet to set a date on their wedding, but Jillian is focusing on having a “healthy lifestyle and focusing on things that make [her] happy.”
CHECK OUT THE BACHELOR PALS IN HAPPIER TIMES, WITH JAKE’S DWTS PARTNER, CHELSIE HIGHTOWER, AT OK!’S PRE-OSCAR PARTY IN MARCH: