The Bachelorette alum Kaitlyn Bristowe has addressed Shawn Booth's comments their relationship wasn't real love and he's bitter about his time on her season.

Shawn previously said of his romance with the Season 11 The Bachelorette star on the "Austin AF" podcast, "Of course you're thinking it's love [during filming], but you're put in a situation where you're completely secluded from the world... So I question, like, 'Was it true love?' I mean, probably not. Because if it was... we'd probably still be together."


Kaitlyn vented, "I was so sad! My feelings were so hurt," during the May 3 episode of "The Ben and Ashley I: Almost Famous Podcast," which is co-hosted by Ben Higgins and Ashley Iaconetti.

"I was, like, that was so real to me. That was like one of the most in love I've ever been in my whole life, and I thought I was going to marry him. It was so real to me. So to hear him be like, 'Yeah, it obviously wasn't real' -- including the season and our time together, that's four years! It was so real!"

Kaitlyn got engaged to her The Bachelorette 11 winner in 2015, and while they often talked about wanting to get married in the media, they never set a date or planned a wedding.

After more than three years of dating, Kaitlyn and Shawn announced their split in November 2018.

Kaitlyn told Ben and Ashley that her "biggest fear" is having someone "fall out of love" with her, which dates back to when her father had allegedly fallen out of love with her mother and they got a divorce.

"My biggest fear is that someone is going to be so in love with me and then they're going to fall out of love with me, and I feel like that's what happened with Shawn," Kaitlyn revealed.

"And then to hear him validate everything... eight years or nine years later, it's still like, 'Oww!' It still hurts."

Shawn also previously acknowledged that The Bachelor franchise "is a business" that makes millions of dollars, and he added, "They're there to make a show... but there are definitely things that [aired] and I was like, 'Oh, okay, that's not exactly what happened.' I used to be very bitter about it."

Kaitlyn lamented on "Almost Famous" that when Shawn questioned the sincerity of their relationship, she felt a wave of emotion in the moment.

"My feelings were so hurt, and then once you think about it and process it, I'm like, 'Well, if that was his experience, I can't change what he felt or what his experience was,'" Kaitlyn reasoned.

"And I don't know if that's true, what [he said. He] could just be like, 'Oh, yeah, it wasn't real because it didn't work out, whatever.' But I just have to be like, 'Well, we both had different experiences there.'"


Ben's ex-fiancee Lauren Bushnell -- who won Ben's The Bachelor season, which aired in 2016 -- made similar comments about her failed engagement to Ben when she had appeared on a July 2023 episode of Shawn's "In the Booth" podcast.

Lauren told Shawn at the time, "I feel like you maybe had deeper feelings [for Kaitlyn than I did for Ben] and maybe it's because you were older."

"Looking back... me being madly in love when I was 21, I just feel like it's different than being in love at 30," Lauren said.

"I feel like my feelings weren't as deep, maybe, now in hindsight. In the moment I thought that they were, obviously, or I wouldn't have made that decision."

Lauren also confessed she initially went on The Bachelor to "travel" to "amazing destinations" and "eat food." The chance to meet and get to know Ben was the third bullet on her list of priorities or motivations for joining the Season 20 cast of bachelorettes.

Ben complained to Kaitlyn that their feelings were hurt because they both believed that those engagements were "very real" and genuine.

"I mean, I don't see that relationship as just an offset of my life. This was a relationship that affected me greatly and then also led me to my wife," Ben explained on "Almost Famous," referencing how starring on The Bachelor eventually led to meeting his wife Jessica Clarke, whom he married in November 2021.

"[I was like], 'Let me see what didn't work in my past relationship,' and then led me to my wife today. And that's beautiful and good and all works out in the end."


Ben continued: "But even to hear that that piece of my story was not impactful for somebody else -- who was also very involved -- was hurtful. It did sadden me. It did confuse me a lot... It brought me back to that moment [of feeling unlovable]."

Ashley even admitted that she felt "offended" for both Ben and Kaitlyn regarding their exes' public remarks.

But Ben concluded, "They can say what they want at this point, in my opinion. I know what it was for me, and that's all that matters."

Kaitlyn agreed and added, "Like you said, it led you to your wife. Imagine who this is going to lead me to."

Kaitlyn joked about how all of her dating experience -- including her second engagement to The Bachelorette 14 alum Jason Tartick, from whom she split in August 2023 -- will eventually lead her to her husband.

"I've got all the practice in the world!" quipped the former Dancing with the Stars champion. "I've learned so many lessons. I feel like that next one will be third time's the charm."

Kaitlyn reacted to Shawn's hurtful comments for the first time in December 2021, one month after Shawn had discussed their romance on the "Austin AF" podcast.

"It actually just made me a little sad because he had every opportunity to just be happy for me and be happy at where he's at in life," Kaitlyn told Us Weekly on its "Here for the Right Reasons" podcast.

"And I was just confused by that because it's been three years, and I thought maybe he would just, you know, we'd want each other to be happy."

When Kaitlyn and Shawn announced their split years ago, Kaitlyn shared how their "important fundamental values" didn't line up. Kaitlyn also revealed in March 2019 that she "wasn't feeling loved" and felt "alone" in her relationship with Shawn for over a year.

Kaitlyn even confessed to having put on an "act" for her social-media followers before the breakup.

Shawn is now a father, and Lauren is married to country singer Chris Lane with kids.


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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.