After Johnny and Victoria got engaged on Bachelor in Paradise's eighth season, which filmed in June, they brought their relationship into the real world.
But Victoria and Johnny had to keep their relationship a secret for five months, and they tried to make things work as Johnny's relationship with Gabby was playing out on The Bachelorette's nineteenth season on ABC.
According to Johnny, Victoria struggled in their relationship while many fans gushed over Johnny and Gabby as a couple.
"Try to put yourself in our shoes. It was very much we're engaged and this is supposed to be our time and our moment, and we want to be so happy. But we were so in the dark," Johnny explained to Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti.
"The world knew me as being with Gabby -- not being with Victoria. And that really hurt her. She was heartbroken."
Johnny elaborated of his former fiancee, "She was upset that she was engaged and that it was very much the spotlight was on me and someone else. And it was just hard to be happy as a couple and try to blossom when I had to kind of promote my show."
Johnny even brought Gabby to his hometown to meet his family.
But he ultimately decided to quit The Bachelorette during Fantasy-Suite week because he didn't feel ready to get engaged to Gabby in just a short week or two. The California-based realtor therefore left the show before he and Gabby could enjoy an overnight, off-camera date.
Johnny said many of Victoria's friends had also gotten engaged around the same time and were "publicly out there," and so "it sucked" for Victoria to have to hide her relationship and good news.
"She was really upset about a lot of things," Johnny noted.
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But Johnny revealed he and Victoria "were good" in the first week or so after filming Paradise.
"She came and saw my family. She met my family, like, immediately after Paradise. And everything was good," Johnny claimed.
Johnny said his "first big fight" with Victoria was after he appeared on a Bachelor Nation podcast and talked about his romance with Gabby.
"[I spoke] in the past tense but it felt really present to [Victoria]," Johnny explained.
"And I think she just felt like I wasn't as upfront with her as I should have been on the beach. She thought a lot of the things I said to Gabby, I said to her. So I think that really threw her off, for sure."
Johnny acknowledged "it's tough" to date -- nevermind be engaged -- in Bachelor Nation.
"I tried to put myself in her shoes, too, and I'd hate if my fiancee was talking about someone else so highly," Johnny confessed.
"Even though it was a show and all that, we very much tried to look at this as a real process and we're engaged now and we're going to get married. And it just sucks to hear."
Ben pointed out how a man's vocabulary tends to be limited, suggesting that Johnny probably didn't mean to compliment two women in the same way.
Johnny, in response, laughed about how "beautiful means beautiful" to him.
Johnny went on to recall having had two or three "good" Happy Couple weekends with Victoria before their split. He said they "had fights but made up."
"I was always going to be here for this person, and I felt that she felt the same," Johnny said, adding, "I thought we were able to work on things."
On Bachelor in Paradise's Season 8 reunion last week, which aired five months after the finale taped in Mexico in June, Victoria and Johnny revealed they had broken up and called off their engagement -- and Victoria was already in a new relationship with Greg Grippo, who competed on Katie Thurston's The Bachelorette season in 2021.
Since Greg and Victoria had been friends since 2021, Johnny acknowledged cheating rumors at the reunion.
Johnny told Us last week that he and Victoria didn't officially split until mid-September, but Victoria claimed she and Johnny broke up a few weeks after they got engaged in the summer.
"There was a possibility for us to potentially work toward something. Breakups are confusing, right? I mean we all know that," Victoria told the magazine of her complicated post-show relationship with Johnny.
But Victoria insisted she had only begun seeing Greg romantically in late October once her engagement ended, with "no crossover" in the timeline, and that Greg officially asked her to be his girlfriend on Halloween.
While Victoria has said in the press Johnny is "an amazing guy," she alleged Johnny changed into a "completely different person" when they returned home from Paradise.
The Nashville-based model said she checked out of their relationship once Johnny allegedly called her demeaning names, such as a "f-cking c-nt."
Victoria also claimed at the reunion that Johnny had criticized and questioned her womanhood because she doesn't cook or clean. Johnny countered that he was just joking and would never say such things to a person or a woman.
Victoria admittedly questioned whether Johnny was truly ready for an engagement, but she believes Greg wants marriage and children in the near future and so they're on the same page.
"I think Greg might move to Nashville for me. We'll see. I own a house, so I'm not going anywhere," she told Us of the New Yorker last week.
Although Johnny appeared devastated on the reunion, Victoria and Greg flaunted their connection and giggled about their relationship and the fact they got matching "Ciao" tattoos while in Italy in late October, which was supposedly the couple's first date.
"No one has to understand it or get it, and that's okay. But everyone can hate us if they f-cking want," Victoria told fans. "I don't give two sh-ts because I've got this m-therf-cker."
Prior to appearing on Paradise, Victoria competed on Peter Weber's The Bachelor season. She also had a brief romance with former The Bachelor star Chris Soules.
Greg quit Katie Thurston's season of The Bachelorette in 2021 because she didn't give him the validation he needed after his hometown date.