Bachelor in Paradise's Monday-night episode appeared to catch Brendan using Natasha as a placeholder, waiting for Pieper -- whom he apparently dated for about two months "without labels" before Season 7 of the spinoff began filming -- to arrive in Paradise.
Brendan, while covering his microphone, also admitted to "incriminating" himself by essentially admitting to Pieper he had downplayed their pre-Paradise romance to other cast members and had to do "certain things" in the Paradise process to ensure he'd receive a rose so they could be on the beach at the same time.
Natasha, who developed strong feelings for Brendan along the way, called the bachelor "a liar" and clout-chaser considering Brendan had insisted he and Pieper just had a "super casual" fling back home and had only hung out twice -- when, in reality, he and Pieper had enjoyed about 10 dates.
"After taking time to begin to process the events that unfolded over the past few days, I have realized I was wrong on so many different levels," Brendan wrote Wednesday on his Instagram Stories.
For instance, before the BIP footage aired, Brendan poked fun at the situation on Instagram by posting a photo of himself in a pool with the caption, "Here for the wrong reasons," which resulted in backlash from Bachelor Nation and the sudden and still-ongoing loss of more than 20% of his more than 350,000 followers.
"First of all, I removed my last post from my feed," Brendan continued.
"I posted it before the episode aired and had no idea the magnitude of hurt that I caused. My approach to many things in life is sarcasm. In this instance with regard to my post, I was completely insensitive."
Pieper also posted photos of herself and wrote, "All's fair in love and war," beside them.
And before the episode aired, she posted a TikTok video on her Instagram Stories of her lip-syncing "Rumors" by Lizzo, proudly stating that "all the rumors are true," seemingly referring to how she and Brendan were seriously dating before Paradise.
Brendan claimed he and Natasha engaged in deeper conversation and their relationship was genuine.
"Most importantly I apologize to you, Natasha," Brendan wrote in his Instagram Stories posting.
"I hurt you. I am deeply sorry for doing so. I understand that the damage is already done and all I can do going forward is acknowledge the error of my ways."
The 31-year-old commercial roofer from the Boston area added, "For those of you that felt my actions triggered certain feelings and emotions I am truly sorry."
On Bachelor in Paradise's episode earlier this week, Brendan and Pieper made it seem like they wanted to date on TV so they could maintain fame and gain more power as social-media influencers.
The couple was shown laughing about their planned Paradise reunion and discussing how Pieper's Instagram-followers count had climbed to over 70,000 after reports they were dating had surfaced in June.
"Lastly, despite the fact that Pieper and I had misunderstandings going into paradise (and I can't stress this enough) -- If you feel the need to express disdain for the situation, please do so at my expense," Brendan concluded.
"I am completely at fault. A full statement and apology will follow."
As shown on Bachelor in Paradise, Pieper immediately asked Brendan out on a date once she entered the resort.
"There were certain things that had to be done and certain ways I navigated this to bring us to this particular moment," Brendan explained to Pieper during their date.
"I can't have a girlfriend entering this whole journey, like, if you have a full girlfriend going into Paradise... it's not a good look. So if I tell everyone, 'Hey, Pieper might be coming, so nobody talk to me,' what would happen is I would go home."
Pieper replied with a smile, "And then I would be here just twiddling my thumbs."
Brendan continued, "Obviously I was just navigating this in a way to allow myself to potentially, hopefully be here while you're here."
Pieper said, "I get it. Thanks for playing the game."
Once Pieper and Brendan returned to the beach from their date, Pieper called Brendan her "boyfriend" and they didn't hide their feelings and affection for one another.
At the sight of them, Natasha lamented, "I feel like a casualty in [Brendan]'s convoluted plan."
Natasha let the cameras know that she felt "played" and "swindled" by "a con artist" who had "lied" and "manipulated" her.
When Natasha confronted Brendan about having lied about the extent of his pre-show relationship with Pieper, Brendan accused Natasha of having had "selective hearing" when they'd talk about their connection, which he ultimately dubbed just "a friendship."
Brendan was also later shown bragging to Pieper about how Natasha didn't have any other "prospects" and so he essentially did her a favor by giving her a rose so she could stay in Paradise longer.
Natasha therefore accused Brendan of "gaslighting" her and being disrespectful on Twitter.
Pieper said of Natasha during the episode, "I think you did the heavylifting for me so I could just swoop in."
As a result, Natasha wrote on Twitter, "I can't even watch this bs. 'Pick-up where we left off?!' What am I watching?... I'm being referred to as 'heavy lifting' ? Wow #rudeaf #BachelorinParadise."
The majority of Bachelor Nation appeared shocked and disgusted by Brendan and Pieper's apparent ploy for fame.
"Brendan and Pieper are the masterminds of a very poorly planned crime #BachelorInParadise," Season 21 The Bachelor star Nick Viall tweeted, before adding, "Natasha absolutely dominated that episode #BachelorInParadise."
And fellow BIP Season 7 cast member Tammy Ly wrote, "The only thing louder than Brendan's lies is this rainstorm #BachelorInParadise. Not them talking about followers. DO THEY NOT KNOW THEYRE MIC'd?! #BachelorInParadise."
Tammy added, "We are ALL shocked to hear what was said on this episode. We don't get to listen in on 'private' convos until it gets aired back #bachelorinparadise."
And The Bachelorette alum Clay Harbor slammed Brendan and tweeted, "Natasha is intelligent beautiful and funny. Trust me Brendan she has prospects. #bachelorinparadiseabc."
Clay, who competed for Natasha's good friend Becca Kufrin on the franchise, continued, "I would take Natasha out yesterday... F***boy book chapter 7: tell her she has selective hearing when you get caught up. #bachelorinparadise."