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ABC releases full text of Melissa Rycroft's 'The Bachelor' statement

By John Bracchitta, 03/04/2009 

ABC has released the full text of dumped bachelorette Melissa Rycroft's parting statement about her The Bachelor experience.

"Although I could not be here, I want to thank everyone who has been so supportive throughout this process.  This has been such an overwhelming experience, and I really do appreciate the support system behind me," Rycroft said in the statement, part of which was read by The Bachelor host Chris Harrison during a segment of The Bachelor: After the Final Rose: Part 2 special that aired last night on ABC.

"This was definitely one of those experiences that changes your life, and makes you so much more aware of who you are and what you want out of life. Strange as it may sound, I am doing really well.

Despite the initial anger she showed on The Bachelor: After the Final Rose special in which thirteenth-season The Bachelor star Jason Mesnick decided to break-off their engagement and dump her in favor Molly Malaney, the season's runner up, Rycroft now says she has a positive outlook of the time she had spent on the ABC reality dating show.

"I'm back in Dallas, pursuing the teaching thing, and attempting to get my life back to normal (if it was every really normal to begin with). I still have my same life mottos: Live life with no regrets, and keep smiling no matter what happens. I'm in such a good place in my life right now, and I really couldn't be happier," she continued. "I don't regret anything that happened over the past few months; because I know I wouldn't be where I am today had none of it happened," she said in the statement.

"I have, however, decided to move on from my reality television days, and get some sense of normalcy back to my life." 

Part of that moving on, she added, was a decision to pass on an offer to star in the next season of The Bachelorette -- a role that was instead bestowed on Jillian Harris, Mesnick's second runner-up, during Wednesday night's special.

"As wonderful of an experience as The Bachelorette would be, I think it's time for me to move on from my television days, and see what my future holds back in Dallas. I have no doubt it will be an amazing experience for whoever assumes the role, and I wish them the best of luck! "

During a media conference call with The Bachelor and The Bachelorette executive producer Mike Fleiss on Wednesday, an ABC spokesperson also addressed the lack of a public response from Rycroft following the After the Final Rose special, saying that she was not contractually obligated to do any media appearances and is currently declining interview requests.

"This was what she wanted," the spokesperson said. "She did a couple of things and that's the way she's leaving it for the moment. Now she may come back and totally decide to talk to people but right now she wanted her space and we're respecting that."

According to ABC, Rycroft decided to do two interviews -- an appearance on Thursday's broadcast of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and an interview that will be part of this week's People magazine feature story about Mesnick's The Bachelor decision.

"We just hope she gets over this and finds the right guy out there, she's a terrific girl... I'd venture to say that she's probably the most popular girl in the country right now," added Fleiss, who also seemed confident that Rycroft would eventually make an appearance on one of The Bachelor's future reunion shows.

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