Once Clayton determined that his happiness and his future was all wrapped up in Susie Evans and he needed to win her back, The Bachelor star proceeded to break up with Gabby and Rachel, whom he had already slept with and professed his love to.
But instead of having individual conversations with the women, he sat down with them in one hotel room and quickly broke their hearts.
Clayton claimed he had meant every word he said to them but explained, "I realized it's not feasibly possible to be in love with three women like I said I was."
"And everybody deserves to have someone give them 100 percent of their heart, and unfortunately, I just can't be that person for either of you because my heart is no longer here -- it's with Susie. I'm so very sorry and I didn't mean to hurt you all."
During an appearance on the "Bachelor Happy Hour" podcast, Clayton explained that Gabby and Rachel supported each other when he announced he had fallen in love with three women and had sex with the both of them in the Fantasy Suites.
Clayton was therefore hoping for a similar positive result with the breakup in Iceland.
"When I first broke that news to them about Susie and what occurred with her, I saw how the two of them reacted, or they were, you know, they were distraught, but then toward the end, as I was hanging out with the final two roses, they were holding each other consoling each other," Clayton told Serena Pitt and Becca Kufrin, according to Us Weekly.
"And them being together in that moment seemed to be beneficial... It kind of seemed like they were able to lean on each other."
"And so after that point," the Bachelor continued, "when I realized I was gonna break up with the two of them and I needed to do that in order to fully pursue Susie, I went back to that moment in my head."
Clayton apparently thought breaking the news to both of them at the same time would help ease their pain.
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"I thought, 'Well, in that moment, the last time you did this, they were there for each other, they were hugging each other, they were just reassuring each other'... and it was tough," Clayton explained.
He added, "My hope was that they could console each other and then once they wanted to talk to me individually, we could step aside and talk privately."
And Clayton did just that.
Clayton first ran after Gabby, who quickly left the hotel room claiming she had nothing more to say toThe Bachelor star.
"I actually don't know who you are at all, and I'm pissed because I spent the last two days away from my family and my friends who actually give a sh-t about me, and you don't," Gabby complained while on the verge of tears.
Gabby insisted Clayton couldn't possibly have loved her and he was full of "bullsh-t."
Once Clayton returned to Rachel, she yelled at him for not fighting for their relationship when she had been the only one to stand by him and never threaten to quit.
"I promise you that when you look back on this, you will -- this is going to haunt you, the fact that you let me go," Rachel insisted.
Rachel broke down into tears and sobbed about how she couldn't believe Clayton was about to put her in a car and let her go. Rachel was absolutely mortified and devastated about her seemingly-sudden elimination after meeting Clayton's family.
"He didn't even shed a tear," Rachel lamented in her final words. "He didn't even cry... He just walked me out. I was in love with him, but he was never in love with me. I'm so heartbroken, but at least now I have an answer."
Susie rejected Clayton at the Final Rose Ceremony of the season, but she ended up reaching out to him in an Instagram direct message once filming wrapped.
After having many tough conversations, Susie and Clayton got back together, and now they are in love and dating in the real world. In fact, Clayton quit his job, sold his condo, and is moving to Virginia to be with Susie.
Susie told Nick Viall on his "The Viall Files" podcast after the finale aired that watching Clayton's breakup with Gabby and Rachel "broke my heart," Us reported.
"And then, yeah, I got to see him on stage with them and that also was just hard to watch," Susie noted.
On the liveThe Bachelor finale on Tuesday night, Gabby, who was stunned about her "group" dumping, told host Jesse Palmer that she felt "misled" and totally "betrayed." She also said she believed Clayton had pitted the women against each other in a "competition" for his heart.
And Rachel scolded Clayton for allowing her to be "collateral damage" in his journey to find The One.
"That was the most completely selfish journey," Rachel noted during the finale.
"There was no empathy at all for me or Gabby," she added. "And you not shedding a single tear and watching myself, I can't even imagine how you could do that, and I just think it's so disrespectful... You just completely disrespected me, not only as someone you loved but as a human."
"I never had any intention of hurting anybody," Clayton told People after the finale. "I felt terrible and I still do. And if they never forgive me, that's something I'll have to sit and live with for the rest of my life."