Bachelor in Paradise alum Serene Russell has claimed her ex-fiance Brandon Jones cheated on her during their post-show relationship, but Brandon is denying the accusation.

Serene, 28, and Brandon, 29, got engaged on Bachelor in Paradise's eighth-season finale, which aired in November 2022.


Fans began speculating Brandon had been unfaithful to Serene earlier this year when a video circulated online appearing to show The Bachelorette alum looking cozy with and kissing another woman at a bar.

The video was taped just days before Serene and Brandon publicly announced their breakup in early May.

Following months of silence, Serene finally opened up about her split from her Bachelor in Paradise love, alleging that the cheating rumors are true, during the Thursday, October 19 episode of the "Off the Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe" podcast.

Serene flat out mentioned the compromising video of Brandon that had initially been posted by Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone.

"I think after that, it was like, 'Okay, there's irreparable damage,'" Serene recalled.

"Of course there was a part of me that was like, 'Okay, I really love this person,' and I struggled with it for a long time. But there was just no coming back."

Serene shared how she found out about Brandon's alleged betrayal through social media.

"I actually got a DM from a stranger, and I didn't get it. And so that person messaged someone from my season, and that person from my season messaged me and was like, 'Hey, I don't know [what's going on], but this is something you should look at,'" Serene said.

"I went and looked for the DM, and I didn't find it. And so I searched for the girl whom she said had sent it to her. I clicked the message and then it came up."

Serene admitted it's "hard to understand" why Brandon would do something like that to her.

"I spent so much time... playing things back in my head, like, 'Does this make sense? Did I not see things?' And I think the most painful thing is, like, we were still very much committed to each other," Serene claimed.

"We had had conversations, like, 'Are we in this together? Are we really doing this?' Because we had started to have issues, normal relationship issues like everyone else does. And obviously getting engaged in such a public way... there were so many things normal relationships don't deal with."

Serene said she no longer asks herself, "Why?"

The Bachelor alum also revealed that Brandon has since apologized to her for his actions.

"We both had things we could've done better in the relationship... We had gone to therapy, which was cool, not just because there was an issue but we were actually provided with therapy from the jump of our relationship," Serene explained to the Season 11 The Bachelorette star.

"So it's not this simple thing of, like, 'Oh, it just didn't work.' We tried to give ourselves the tools and set ourselves up for success, but there were just ultimately so many things."

Since Brandon's alleged infidelity played a role -- presumably the biggest role -- in their breakup, Kaitlyn asked the Bachelor in Paradise alum why she had released such an amicable breakup statement with her ex via Instagram on May 8.

"I was just in shock, I think," Serene confessed, choking back the tears.

"I didn't know what the future held. It makes me want to tear up. I was in shock for a really long time. I drove myself home while my dad was pulling a trailer with all of my stuff in it," Serene recalled on the podcast.

"I drove, like, catatonically -- staring at the road. I didn't listen to music for a month, and music is how I process things. I've never felt that depressed in my life. It was just really hard to deal with."


Serene told Kaitlyn "the hardest part" of losing Brandon was "the loss of trust" in herself.

"I've always been so sure of myself. I've always had a super strong intuition... I will pick a path and commit to it... The most painful part was the loss of trust I had in myself. And that's what I've been doing the most work on, is not beating myself up," Serene noted.

"I probably felt things a little too deeply, to be honest, but I'm in a better place for it now... I am learning to give myself grace and allow myself to feel things and to express those things."

Brandon, however, insisted on a different version events in his Instagram Stories on Saturday, October 21.

"In light of recent events that have transpired over the last few days, I've needed to take a beat to reflect and process my emotions surrounding this delicate matter that is intimate and personal to me," Brandon wrote in a statement, according to Us Weekly.

"Now that I've had a moment to digest, I want to clear the air and respond with my truth."

The Bachelor in Paradise alum went on to address the "false" narrative of him that's been presented.

"To be transparent, before leaving for Texas, my partner and I made the difficult choice to go our separate ways," Brandon reportedly wrote.

"As this was a public relationship, we both decided to hold off on sharing the news until we mutually felt it was time, so we [just] shared the [news] with family and friends."

Brandon continued: "Where I have taken fault and responsibility, is a conversation we shared the day before I left speaking on doing long distance. Unfortunately, during this time of private separation, coming back from Austin, a video came to light, that while harmless, made my ex-partner upset."

Brandon claimed he had spoken to Serene "one-on-one" after the video surfaced about "navigating" a "new normal" for their romance.

"She felt that I had cheated and wanted to make this news known," Brandon alleged. "For the record, in the early days of our official breakup, I shared one dance with a woman... nothing else, just a single dance before leaving with my friends."

Brandon, however, said he was "completely understanding" of Serene's "valid feelings" and immediately "took ownership" of his actions, according to Us.

"As we had made amends and agreed to put this behind us, I was surprised to learn, very publicly, that there are still lingering issues between us that need to be resolved," Brandon added.

"Out of profound respect for the time we shared together, I want to move forward peacefully, ultimately hoping to preserve our memories and former relationship."

Serene and Brandon went nearly a month without posting anything about each other on social media before they announced their breakup in May.

"After many months, today we have ultimately decided to end our engagement. We have tried to work privately on our relationship which has been incredibly challenging in the public eye," the former couple wrote in their statement at the time.


Brandon and Serene concluded, "This has been immensely hard to accept and painful, as there is a lot of love between the two of us. We are deeply hurting and can only ask that there be no hate. The best path for us at this time is to try and move forward and heal from this as individuals."

Prior to the alleged cheating scandal, Serene had shot down breakup rumors multiple times.

In early April, Serene explained why it seemed like she and Brandon were keeping their relationship pretty private on social media when fans had noticed a lack of "couple's content" on their Instagram accounts.

The model, social-media influencer and former Oklahoma teacher explained in a Q&A session, "We're not really the people that are like, 'Ok what TikTok should we do' -- we're really enjoying living in the moment right now and trying to experience things as a normal couple."

Serene also posted a cute photo of the pair laughing and snuggling on the couch, and she wrote, "It can be hard finding a healthy balance when your relationship came from reality TV."

In early February, Serene and Brandon slammed an Instagram account for starting a rumor that they split just because they hadn't posted a photo of each other since December 2022.

"I set them straight. You can't believe everything you read online because how would they know," Serene wrote on Instagram Stories.

And Brandon reposted Serene's Instagram Story and vented, "These accounts be saying anything. Clout is a helluva drug."

Several days later, Brandon uploaded a slideshow of photos with Serene on Instagram and captioned the early-February photo dump, "Just because I miss ya."

Serene and Brandon put breakup speculation to rest for the first time in early December, when fans noticed Serene hadn't been wearing her engagement ring in some of her modeling photos.

To combat the gossip, Serene posted a mirror selfie with Brandon on Instagram Stories, proudly showing off her Neil Lane bling on her left ring finger.

Along with the photo, Serene wrote, "Y'all when I model, sometimes there's gonna be a shoot without my ring on, especially if it took place before the finale so before I could wear it out."

Earlier this year, Brandon conducted a Q&A with his Instagram followers and confirmed he and Serene had picked out a wedding date for their 2024 wedding.

Brandon shared at the time how "communication and patience" are required to make a relationship work after appearing on The Bachelor franchise, and he added how "the little things" matter most.

And late last year, Serene said she and Brandon would be open to tying the knot where they first met in Mexico.

"I think we would get married in Paradise if our families were there!" Serene said.

"It is such a special place to us and having our families there in the place where we got engaged and thought about getting married would be so special. We are definitely thinking about it!"

On Bachelor in Paradise's finale, Serene told Brandon that they had a life-changing love, something more than she ever could have expected or dreamed about. She said she felt seen and understood more than ever before.

"I found my best friend, my missing puzzle piece and my soul mate," Serene shared with Brandon on the final day of filming. "I love you so much and I'm never going to take that for granted."

In reply, Brandon shared how "The Split" twist made him realize that he never wanted to spend another day of his life without her. Brandon gushed about how he loved her in every sense of the word and she's an "everlasting spark" that hit him so hard.

"I will love you until the end of time. I will love you until my last breath, and I want to start forever with you," Brandon said. "And that starts with making you my forever."

After Brandon got down on one knee and Serene said "yes," Bachelor in Paradise host Jesse Palmer joined the pair on the beach and revealed how he'd been ordained and could marry them right on the spot if they wanted to be spontaneous and seal the deal.

However, the couple ultimately decided not to get married since they both wanted their loved ones to attend the wedding.

Brandon confirmed on the Bachelor in Paradise reunion in November that it was love at first sight with Serene and she's the "most perfect" woman for him. And Serene said she was so grateful for Brandon, who yelled, "I love the sh-t out of you!"

Prior to meeting on Bachelor in Paradise, Brandon finished as the runner-up on Michelle Young's The Bachelorette season, and Serene had competed on Clayton Echard's season of The Bachelor.


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About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.