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'The Bachelor' couple Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson split

By Reality TV World staff, 10/05/2012 

Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson are no more.

The Bachelor couple has confirmed they have ended their engagement and split.

"After meeting over a year ago, we have decided to end our romantic relationship," the pair told In Touch Weekly in a joint statement.

In the statement, Flajnik and Robertson blamed several factors for their decision to break-up.

"The ups and downs weighed heavily on us both and ultimately we started to grow apart because of the distance, time apart, and our need to focus on our respective careers," they said.

In addition, the pair also pledged to remain friends.

"We have nothing but the utmost respect for each other, and both feel this is the right decision," they said. "We continue to remain friends and will support each other in future endeavors. Thanks to everyone for your love and support, it's been quite a ride."

Robertson, a 28-year-old Los Angeles model, got engaged to Flajnik, a 29-year-old winemaker from Sonoma, CA, when he selected and proposed to her during The Bachelor's sixteenth-season final Rose Ceremony, which was filmed in November 2011 and aired in March.

However the couple called off their engagement while The Bachelor's sixteenth season was airing early this year only to decide to get back together and get re-engaged during the show's After the Final Rose special.

Flajnik was photographed publicly kissing and groping several women in February during his brief split from Robertson, however he has claimed the women were just "friends."

"I have not hooked up with another woman -- on my father's grave. Those women they mentioned are my friends in San Francisco," Flajnik told People magazine in an interview published after The Bachelor's finale aired in March.

"But Ben, there are photos of you kissing someone and grabbing her rear," People writer Monica Rizzo replied.

"If you look at the pictures, I'm not kissing her. And that's a butt pat. My friends grab my butt. I'm physical and affectionate with friends -- guys and girls," Flajnik insisted.

"Maybe you just needed to let your hair down.  [At the time] we were still in a rough place. But I believe he didn't cheat," added Robertson, who also participated in the interview with Flajnik.

(Photo credit ABC)

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