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HOME > The Bachelorette > The Bachelorette 5

Ed Swiderski denies having girlfriends, Jillian Harris stands by him


By Reality TV World staff, 08/05/2009 

Ed Swiderski is denying two former girlfriends' allegations that he was dating and sleeping with them before, during and even after the filming of The Bachelorette's fifth season, which ended with Jillian Harris getting engaged to Swiderski after selecting him as her final suitor.

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"No, it's actually not true at all," Swiderski told ABC's Good Morning America during a Wednesday morning interview about the alleged girlfriends' claims, which were reported in a cover story published in Us Weekly's August 17 issue.

"I think that Jillian and I have been the target of being one of the very few successful couples on the show and I think that we're clearly being targeted because we are happy," Swiderski said. "Jillian and I have been completely honest and upfront about all of my recent relationships and -- you know, there's just no truth to it and I -- I'm not going to go into details, but I can tell you that the tabloids are inaccurate."

Harris also dismissed the allegations and said the couple is "absolutely" still in love.

"As Ed said, he has been very, very clear with me from the very beginning.  He is totally open and honest with me," Harris told Good Morning America.  "I mean, this is just -- I personally don't have time in my normal, regular life that I'm getting [back] to, to entertain all of this.  Like this is nonsense.  I feel like I'm in high school.  All of this stuff is totally inaccurate and I mean, it's just unfortunate."

"I mean it's 'He said, she said,' right?," Harris added.  "I think that these women are very hurt and I think that they did love Ed and I mean I can understand where they're coming from and it must be very painful but that was in the past and those are past relationships and this is sometimes what we deal with in regular life. But Ed is not deceiving me, Ed is not pulling the wool over my eyes."

In addition, Harris -- who has previously repeatedly admonished interviewers, including CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who have attempted to ask how intimate she got with her suitors with during the show's production -- also made it clear she was upset to even be discussing the allegations publicly.

"If there was problems on the homefront or if there was an issue, I am not going to deal with it in this manner with tabloids and rumors and stuff like that," Harris said.  "I have learned from various seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and people in the media.  I am not addressing anything in the media."

"And I'm also going to say for anybody out there who does care about this -- which I don't know why because there's so many more important thing in the world to care about -- is this is the last time I'm talking about this.  This is like a waste of all of our time.  It's hilarious -- like Ed and I, we don't even understand where any of this is coming from and I'm not talking about this ever again after today."

According to the two women -- Lindsey Johnson and Bethany Steffen, who say they weren't aware of each other until recently -- they were both seriously dating Swiderski when he left Chicago to begin filming The Bachelorette in late March.

"He reassured me many times that it was two weeks and he was just going to, you know, be on TV, and it was just all a joke," Johnson told Good Morning America.

Although they had only resumed dating in month earlier after ending a seven-month relationship in December, Johnson -- who had also previously been Swiderski's college sweetheart -- claims she and Swiderski were already planning a long-term future together when the 29-year-old technology consultant flew to Los Angeles to begin filming Harris' The Bachelorette edition.

"He was going to propose to me by the end of the year.  He used to say that we'd have the most beautiful kids," Johnson said.

However unbeknownst to Johnson, Swiderski allegedly already had a girlfriend when she resumed dating him in February: Steffen, who claims she began dating him in December, the same month his relationship with Johnson ended.

Why either woman decided they were still interested in continuing their relationships with Swiderski after he told them he would be participating in The Bachelorette remains unclear, but both women claim he "continued emailing them all throughout" the show's production, according to Good Morning America.

"When u coming home???????" Johnson asked Swiderski in an alleged April 10 email exchange that she shared with Good Morning America.

"I don't know.  I'll call you as soon as I get my phone back," Swiderski allegedly replied back only minutes later -- an action that would have been a violation of The Bachelorette's requirement that participants have no outside contact during the show's production.

"Are u done?? Will it be this weekend?  I'm dying," Johnson replied back again that same day.

Swiderski later allegedly professed his continuing love for Johnson in an email he sent on April 12 -- three days before he told Harris -- falsely, according to Us Weekly -- he was going to have to quit the show in order to avoid being fired from his job at Microsoft.

"I miss you dearly.  I love you... Hopefully they'll get me home tomorrow," he allegedly wrote.

Swiderski then allegedly resumed dating and sleeping with both women when he returned to Chicago on April 16.

"I feel gross, used and completely violated," Johnson, who also has photos which allegedly show her spending time with Swiderski on April 16 and attending a wedding with him on April 23, told Us Weekly.

However on April 29, Swiderski allegedly told both women he was going on "a business trip in Texas" and left Chicago to return to The Bachelorette and ask Harris to let him rejoin the show

Despite getting engaged to Harris when The Bachelorette's final Rose Ceremony was filmed on May 24, Swiderski then allegedly returned to Chicago and attempted to continue his relationships with both women.

"It shocks me that he was able to do something like that to me," said Johnson, who claims to have slept with Swiderski on June 4 -- one night before Steffen alleges he sent a text message asking her to "bring beer and condoms" to his apartment.

(Photo credit ABC)


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