'The Bachelor' star Jason Mesnick apologizes to show viewers
By John Bracchitta, 03/09/2009
Although he's standing his choices, thirteenth-season The Bachelorstar Jason Mesnick wants the show's viewers to know that he's sorry for the mistakes that he's made along the way.
During a Friday appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Mesnick took a moment to apologize to The Bachelor viewers who were offended by his decision to dump Melissa Rycroft -- whom he had proposed to on the show's finale -- for runner-up Molly Malaney on the season's subsequent After the Final Rose special.
"I think what I wanna do is to apologize to everybody out there, all of the fans of the show, because I thank you for watching but this was my real life and it was the hardest thing I had to do and I made some big mistakes," Mesnick said. "But in the end I found my true love and I really am happy right now, and I know I hurt somebody that I never wanted to hurt and I really regret that. But I wanted to thank everybody for their support, and I know people got hurt along the way, even the viewers, and I apologize to all of you guys too."
Mesnick also acknowledged that, despite his earlier comments, he had not actually been contractually obligated to dump Rycroft and tell her he still had feelings for Malaney on-air during the After the Final Rose special and said he was fully responsible -- and regretful -- for his own actions.
"I completely regret doing that. I've regretted it every single day since that happened and I will regret it probably every single day for the rest of my life. The producers obviously really wanted me to do it on the show, but I take full responsibility for my actions," Mesnick told DeGeneres regarding the After the Final Rose special. "I could've not shown up, and if I look back, I was just trying to do what I thought was right for me and if I could go back and do it again I would not do that. There is no way I would do that, period."
Mesnick also insisted that, although Rycroft had insisted otherwise during her own interview with DeGeneres a day earlier, he had not been talking with Malaney while he was still with Rycroft.
"No, no. If I had been talking to Molly I would've known that at some point she would've waited for me, maybe. No," Mesnick said, before adding that asking Malaney for a second chance during the After the Final Rose special was "one of the scariest things I've had to do."
Mesnick also reiterated his previous comments that one of the main reasons he had decided to reveal his feelings to Malaney was because he could not live with not knowing if she would have accepted him or not.
"I hate that it was on TV, absolutely. But I never would have known if Molly would have said yes because she would've moved on. Obviously they were considering her probably for [The Bachelorette]," he told DeGeneres. "I would never have known, and as the year goes by and I just would've always wondered 'What if Molly would've known,' and I didn't want to live that way."
During a subsequent joint interview with Mesnick, Malaney said that dealing with the fallout of Mesnick's decision has been difficult.
"It's been a really, really difficult couple of days," Malaney told DeGeneres. "This should be the happiest time for us but we're surrounded by so much negativity. We're just trying to stay positive and focus on what matters."
"Yeah, it's almost like when one of us is up the other is down and we kind of have to pull each other through it, and that's important for us," Mesnick added.