The Bachelor bachelorette Monica Spannbauer's stepmother Sherry Ekberg is denying claims that her stepdaughter is lesbian or bisexual.

Spannbauer's controversial chemistry with fellow bachelorette Blakeley Shea portrayed during The Bachelor's sixteenth-season premiere on Monday night caused several of Ben Flajnik's bachelorettes to feel the two girls had a connection more intimate than just a blossoming friendship.

However, Ekberg said Spannbauer's behavior was not true to character, and the bachelorette wasn't "too pleased" with how the show's editing made her appear, RadarOnline reported Wednesday.

"They... portrayed her as something she's not," Ekberg told Star Magazine, according to RadarOnline.

"Sometimes they'll do anything they can for the publicity -- that's probably the only reason it's on the show."

A source close to Spannbauer, a 33-year-old dental consultant from Salt Lake City, UT, seconded Ekberg's belief that the bachelorette is heterosexual despite The Bachelor's portrayal that she was attracted to and flirting with Shea when the pair had secluded themselves from the rest of the season's contestants during the initial cocktail reception.  

"I've never seen any evidence that she's gay or bisexual," the source told Star. "She probably laughed the whole thing off. Nothing embarrasses her and she's very comfortable with her sexuality."

Ekberg suggested Spannbauer's actions were likely just fueled by an excessive flow of alcohol.

"The show's producers "really like to keep [the contestants] intoxicated, so anything can happen at that point... They keep them a little looped up," she told the magazine.

Spannbauer was shown snuggling up on a couch with Shea, a 34-year-old VIP cocktail waitress from Charlotte, NC, during the premiere episode, and many of the ladies were forming assumptions that the two girls actually liked each other, possibly even more than they liked Flajnik.

"I love girls. [Blakeley] is real and she's amazing. I love her -- her beauty, her eyes -- God. There is something to be said about a gorgeous real woman," Spannbauer said during the broadcast.

"I'm unsure about Monica. I think she's more interested in the girls than she is in Ben," fellow bachelorette Rachel Truehart, a 27-year-old fashion sales representative from New York City, NY, said.

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.