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HOME > The Bachelorette > The Bachelorette 9

Brooks Forester: I didn't regret leaving 'The Bachelorette' star Desiree Hartsock, coming back was never an option


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/06/2013 

Brooks Forester walked out on The Bachelorette star Desiree Hartsock during last week's first part of the ABC reality dating series' ninth-season finale, leaving only fellow bachelors Chris Siegfried and Drew Kenney remaining.

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The Bachelorette bachelor, a 28-year-old marketing consultant from Salt Lake City, UT, decided to quit the show at the very beginning of his one-on-one date with Desiree. The suitor determined he wasn't madly in love with Desiree, and although his feelings for her were strong, he acknowledged they weren't where they needed to be at that point in the season to consider asking her hand in marriage.

A devastated Desiree eventually moved on and ended up selecting Chris over Drew in the conclusion of her The Bachelorette edition. In turn, Chris proposed and the pair got engaged.

During a Tuesday conference call with reporters, Brooks talked to Reality TV World about his experience on the show and relationship with Desiree.

Reality TV World: There was a recent report that you regretted leaving Desiree immediately after taking off. Was that actually the case, and if so, when did you stop feeling regret? And was there any point in between that time frame when you ever considered coming back?

Brooks Forester: No, that was never an option and never in my feelings after making that decision. I felt like I made the right decision going into that. I didn't have a moment where I felt I should go back and rehash my doubt with Desiree.

Were there immediate things that I missed about her, and was I sad to see that relationship come to a close? Yes. But I think after the conversation and my interview with the producers, I was sad and I was sad to see that relationship end. So that's the only place I could think it came from.

Reality TV World: Spoilers had circulated all season, claiming you were the last man standing and got engaged to Desiree. How was it dealing with that all season, and when you talked to Desiree last night, it came across like you actually hadn't known she ended up with Chris. So is that really what happened? Because a lot of viewers are surprised you didn't know how it ended.

Brooks Forester: Yeah, I honestly did not know how it ended. I still haven't seen the show. I still haven't seen what happened, and I was sequestered yesterday while the show aired. So no, I didn't know the ending.

The last two months have been difficult. Everybody assumed that we were together and had conversations with me, and I don't like alluding to anything. I had to play a very fine line and say, "Oh, just watch the season! And I hope for the best for Des and myself and everyone involved." That's just not a comfortable line to follow, so I'm glad that that's over and I'm really glad to see this season come to an end.  

Reality TV World: Desiree obviously insisted she was in love with you, but do you think she was really in love with you or just thought she was if she was able to truly fall in love and get engaged to Chris only a couple of days later?

Brooks Forester: Yeah, I think there's some possibility that she, as well, might have felt some pressure to express exactly how she felt about me. And maybe after the situation, she realized that those feelings were there, but that doesn't take away from the relationship that she was developing with Chris.

And she was able to see that a little bit more clear after having put that away, saying, "Okay, I've come to the conclusion that that's not going to happen."

That would be tough. That'd be a tough decision and a tough thing to move on from so quickly, because I was cautious in using those words, "I love you," because I knew what that meant. And I think those are some very heavy words for someone who, if you don't know if they reciprocate those feelings, that can be a heavy three words for the receiver of those words.

So I just wanted to make sure when I, you know, vocalize those three words that they were going to be received well and that she would be comfortable with hearing that. I don't know if that answers your question. I realize I babble sometimes.

Reality TV World: Based upon your breakup conversation with Des, some people -- including Chris Harrison -- have said you did a poor job of articulating your feelings to the point where they're wondering if that's a personality trait of yours rather than just a conversation you simply struggled with because of the circumstances on the show. What's your response to that? Would you say your struggle to express yourself on the show isn't representative of how you talk through personal issues in your everyday life?

Brooks Forester: I think emotions are difficult to articulate, period. And I need to say what I feel, and I don't think that that's always the case. I think at times people say what it is that they think people want them to say or say what sounds good, and yeah, it can be difficult gauging your emotion and then putting that into words all the time.

So yeah, if that is the rumor about Brooks Forester, that I have a hard time articulating my emotions, then sure. And I'm okay with that. Had my conversation with Desiree on the beach been mapped out and articulated and presented like a politician, I don't think it would be taken as sincere. So, I guess that just eliminates all the other options for process of elimination. I guess it must be a characteristic of mine.

Below are some additional highlights from Brooks' call with reporters.

Are you still confident in your decision to leave Desiree, especially after meeting with her during After the Final Rose last night?

Brooks Forester: Yeah, I know I made the right decision and that was about being honest with Desiree and with myself, and that conversation and the breakup [was what it] was, and as bad as it hurt, I just don't know how I can regret being honest. So, I look back and I say, "I know that's the right decision." And I knew that was the right decision going into that conversation with her.

If you had known how into you Desiree was, would it have changed your decision?

Brooks Forester: I thought about that, and at the time -- the first time I knew that she loved me was when she told me on the dock. That's the first time I heard her, and the viewers were able to see that she had those feelings prior to myself. So in the moment, I had asked her, "Why didn't you tell me that sooner?"

And that was a comment referring back to a conversation that we had where I had promised Desiree that I would wear my heart on my sleeve and to put her first before everything, including the show, and should I say something that the producers and editors don't enjoy or feel is too revealing, then they can cut that out.

I'll allow them to do their job as editors and producers and I will do everything I can to make this as real and as genuine as possible and try to communicate as well as possible.

So I, in a long roundabout way of answering this, no. It was about my emotional process and me figuring out how I feel. I know that Desiree deserves to be in love with someone that is deeply in love with her, so if she was at that point, great -- now I need to get there. And I just wasn't there yet.

When did you definitely decide to leave? Had you decided before you went to speak to your mother and sister or was it after speaking to them that gave you clarity?

Brooks Forester: My family acted like a sounding board in Salt Lake when we had our first date, and I think they had asked me some of the hard questions I wasn't asking myself at that point. It gave me some time to kind of identify what I was already feeling. So going up to Boise and talking to my sister and my mother, it was just a way for me to be more confident in the decision that I had made.

I made the decision to go and talk to Desiree, and I didn't want to regret it later on. So since my family was such a good sounding board the first time, I figured, "Hey, I'm going to talk to them again and see their thoughts on this decision." But it was really just a confidence boost that I was preparing to do the right thing and I worked out my emotions and was looking at things with a healthy perspective.

Check back with Reality TV World soon for more from Brooks' interview. To begin reading what Desiree and Chris -- the happily engaged couple -- had to say, click here.

(Photo credit ABC)


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