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HOME > The Bachelorette > The Bachelorette 5

'Bachelorette' couple Jillian Harris, Ed Swiderski still "extremely happy"


By Christopher Rocchio, 09/11/2009 

Despite a new report that their relationship is on the rocks, The Bachelorette's Jillian Harris and Ed Swiderski insist they are still very much in love.

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"We want everyone to know that we're extremely happy and in love," said Swiderski during a joint appearance with Harris on Thursday's The Ellen DeGeneres Show broadcast.

Swiderski added that Harris is also in the process of following through with her plans to relocate to his Chicago apartment -- a claim she first made during July's broadcast of The Bachelorette's fifth-season After the Final Rose special.

"We just packed up her stuff in Vancouver this past weekend," said Swiderski before Harris added she plans to be in the Windy City by next week.

"We spent the whole summer together, but... we're moving in permanently this next week," she said.

Harris' comments directly contradict a report in In Touch Weekly's current issue, in which a friend of Harris claimed she was putting her move "on hold" and having second thoughts about relocating. 

Harris' trepidation, according to the friend, was partly due to the allegations of Lindsey Johnson and Bethany Steffen, two former Swiderski girlfriends who have claimed they were (unbeknownst to each other) dating and sleeping with him before, during and even after the filming of The Bachelorette's fifth season. 

In addition, Swiderski has recently been spotted flirting with other women and "acting like a single man" at some of his favorite Chicago bars, according to In Touch, adding to Harris' trust issues with her man.

"[Harris] wants to be in love, and she thought she found that with Ed.  Now she's not so sure.  It's taken Jillian a while, but she is finally beginning to realize that he is not her dream man," the friend told In Touch.

"The last thing she wants to do is uproot her life and move to another city only to wind up alone if the relationship doesn't work out."

Although Swiderski had previously insisted Johnson and Steffen's claims were "not true at all," he appeared to suggest there was some merit to the allegations during his Ellen appearance.

"In every sense of the word I was a bachelor before I went on the show, Ellen.  I absolutely was.  I am not perfect.  I am a human being.  We had some ups and downs in our relationship..." said Swiderski.

"Who's we?" asked DeGeneres.

"We did, together," said Swiderski, gesturing to Harris.

"Throughout the show and post," added Harris.

"So he was honest with you?" DeGeneres asked Harris.  "You've learned a lot more than probably we know.  It's your business."

"It definitely has not been the fantasy that everybody sees out there," replied Harris.  "I think that's what a lot of people have problems with, it goes from being so perfect to not so perfect."

"I'm sure a lot of people want to know all the details of our relationship," Swiderski added, "but there are some things that we don't want to share with the public and that we worked out together."

"I understand that," said DeGeneres, "but you have to understand that you become like a soap opera for us.  We get involved, we watch every week..."

"So we owe?" began Swiderski before DeGeneres cut him off.

"No, you don't owe us anything," said DeGeneres.  "But unfortunately it comes with being on television. You all of a sudden become this personality that we are rooting for. Jillian, 'Make sure you're with the right guy,' and, '[Swiderski] you bad dog!'"

"I can tell you that Jillian is one of the most intelligent women that I've ever met in my life," said Swiderski.

"I highly doubt that she would ever be with someone that is not a good person.  She's super-smart, very keen on what's going on.  I can tell you we have been very clear with each other.  We know the truth about what happened. And that's really all that..."

"And that's really all that matters," said DeGeneres.

"Really, it does," Swiderski replied.

DeGeneres then asked if the reason Johnson and Steffen went public with their relationships with him was out of "hurt" and to be "vindictive."

"There's some hurt women out there that are trying to retaliate maybe," said DeGeneres.

"I don't know what motivates someone to do something like this,"  Swiderski answered.  "I certainly did not have the impression that this would ever happen because I did have dialogue with these women and I know them pretty well, and to me, it seemed like there is another motivation there.  But I don't know what would have caused all of that."

While not mentioning it directly, Harris also appeared to attempt to address Steffen's claim that Swiderski's behavior had included sending her a pre-The Bachelorette email in which he had claimed he "never took this thing seriously" and had let the show's producers "know that I would be doing the show for the wrong reasons as I am not, in any way, attracted to the chick."

"I think when he signed up for it too I don't think he was really into me and he thought it will be a great adventure," said Harris, comparing the situation to how she had no idea whether she'd fall in love with Jason Mesnick before she appeared on The Bachelor's  thirteenth season.

"This is the amazing thing that gets to come with this -- getting to meet somebody that's as incredible as [DeGeneres], and getting to share our story with everybody and tell everybody how grateful we are for all the good things that happened and remind everybody that with good, sometimes there's bad and sometimes there's rollercoasters."

Harris said regardless of Johnson and Steffen's motivation, it's not important to her relationship with Swiderski.

"What's important to him and I is how's our mom and dad doing, how's your mom and dad doing, how are you doing, what's the truth, okay, let's move on," she said.

According to Harris and Swiderski, they still intend to walk down the aisle.

"Are you engaged?  Is there a date set?" asked DeGeneres.

"Oh yeah, did you watch the show?" Swiderski replied -- seemingly unaware that only one couple who got engaged on either The Bachelor or The Bachelorette has ever actually gotten married.

"You can say that on the show but then you can prolong it forever," DeGeneres pointed out.

"That's actually a good question," said Harris.

"This engagement -- we feel, for us -- is very different than any typical engagement.  One of the things my dad told me is, 'Jill, you're not walking down the aisle but you're engaging to start a new life with each other.' We both would love to get married within the next year-and-a-half, but what's more important is living together, adopting a dog, joining charities and working together and family functions -- and then saying, 'Okay, let's try to do this at a more normal-people rate now.'"



(Photo credit ABC)


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