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'The Bachelor's Ashley Iaconetti addresses Ben Higgins dating rumors after his Lauren Bushnell split

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/22/2017 

The Bachelor's Ashley Iaconetti and Ben Higgins have been spending a lot of time together recently, so in light of people talking, Iaconetti has set the record straight on the status of their relationship.

Rumors of a blossoming romance sparked this past weekend when Iaconetti and Higgins were spotted enjoying a concert together on Saturday, just days after Higgins announced his split from fiancee Lauren Bushnell.

However, Iaconetti, 29, has denied the rumors, saying her relationship with the Season 20 The Bachelor star is purely platonic.

"Totally just friends!" Iaconetti told Us Weekly. "We went with our podcast manager at iHeart and other friends."

The pair reportedly attended a Bryan Adams concert at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, CA.

The reality TV stars have been each other's sidekick in recent days because they're promoting their new podcast, Ben and Ashley: Almost Famous, which debuts on the iHeartRadio app on Tuesday, May 23.

Higgins first opened up about his breakup with Bushnell during a preview of his new podcast with Iaconetti, who competed on Chris Soules' edition of The Bachelor as well as two seasons of Bachelor in Paradise, both in which she romantically pursued her best friend Jared Haibon.

"I think mutually Lauren and I saw that life was getting more difficult," Higgins told his gal pal, according to E! News.

"I would say the joy that we felt toward our relationship at the beginning was -- for some reason -- slipping away. And we were both working very hard to bring that joy back. And it just never seemed to get there. So it was a long time coming but it wasn't necessarily like we dragged it out."

Higgins had reportedly added, "It's hard to say goodbye to somebody that you spent so much time with and it's hard to say goodbye to somebody that you really did believe was the one for you... She knows me better than anybody else that has gone through this experience, and really probably anybody else in the world. It's tough."

Higgins, 29, and Bushnell, 27, announced they had called it quits on their engagement one week ago after meeting and falling in love on The Bachelor in early 2016. Following the show's March finale last year, Bushnell moved from California to Denver, CO, to live with her fiance.

During the couple's Freeform spinoff Ben & Lauren: Happily Ever After? in Fall 2016, Higgins was shown calling off his wedding to Bushnell, who was still trying to adjust to life in Denver and figure out a new career.

The seemingly-happy duo always put up a united front in public, but they were plagued with rumors they split -- or needed to part ways because they weren't getting along -- for the majority of their romance.

Higgins and Bushnell confirmed their split in a May 15 statement: "It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways. We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another. We wish nothing but the best for each other, and ask for your support and understanding at this time."

About one month before Higgins and Bushnell announced their split, Higgins had told People, "I still want to marry Lauren, very much so... Planning a wedding is difficult, [but] we are definitely trying to."

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