The Bachelorette star Rachel Recchia has addressed Gabby Windey and Erich Schwer's split for the first time since news of the pair's broken engagement made headlines earlier this month.

"[Gabby] is so busy right now," Rachel told Becca Kufrin and Michelle Young on the latest episode of the "Bachelor Happy Hour" podcast, referring to how Gabby has been competing on Dancing with the Stars' 31st season on Disney+.

"In a way, I'm super grateful for this [opportunity] for her because I think it's really helpful to throw yourself into something -- and she really is practicing all day, every single day."


People reported on November 4 that it had confirmed Gabby and Erich's breakup after E! News reported multiple sources claiming Gabby had dumped Erich and the pair's relationship was over less than two months after The Bachelorette's Season 19 finale aired on ABC.

"As much as we can talk and exchange texts, we do," Rachel said of her co-The Bachelorette lead. "And I go and support her in person really any chance I can get."

While Gabby had accepted a marriage proposal from Erich on The Bachelorette's Season 19 finale, Rachel had also left the show engaged to her winner Tino Franco.

But Rachel and Tino split before the show's After the Final Rose special aired in late September because he had cheated on her with another woman over the summer.

"So whatever support and whatever she needs right now, I'm going to try to give to her," Rachel said, "just because we all know how difficult it is, especially in the public eye."

"But I'm just happy that she at least has something to focus on instead of just whatever is happening behind the scenes," the flight instructor added.

However, The Bachelorette host Jesse Palmer claimed he had spoken to Gabby and Erich earlier this week and they're actually trying to fix things.

"I know they're still trying to kind of work through things, so just giving them the space that they need," Jesse told Us Weekly.

"[They are] two amazing people and everybody saw the potential in that relationship and just wish them the best for whatever that is, whatever that means."

Jesse concluded, "[I'm] certainly bummed for [Gabby and Rachel], but they're both such amazing women and amazing people and great friends too... Obviously, you just wish them all the happiness moving forward."


E! News reported on November 4 that Gabby had been the one to end her engagement to Erich days earlier.

"She felt they weren't aligned and weren't on the same page," a source told the website. "Gabby was hoping they could give each other space and work it out but ultimately decided they didn't have a future."

On October 31, Fox News asked Gabby about her relationship status after she performed with her Dancing with the Stars pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy on "Halloween Night."

The ICU nurse explained of her relationship with the real estate analyst from New Jersey, "Yeah, life is just really busy for the both of us right now."

"So I understand [fans'] concern," Gabby noted, "but we're just kind of, you know, going forward with each of our individual interests and supporting each other from afar."

That same night, Erich urged fans to vote for Gabby to advance on Dancing with the Stars via Instagram Stories, writing, "She keeps on crushin it."

Gabby has been a frontrunner on Dancing with the Stars, but Erich only sat in the ballroom for a couple of Season 31 performance shows after their engagement was made public in late September.

Gabby also hasn't posted a photo with Erich on Instagram since October 12, and eagle-eyed fans spotted Gabby without her engagement ring two weeks of Dancing with the Stars rehearsal packages and performances in a row.

But following Gabby's sexy rumba on Dancing with the Stars' October 24 episode, Gabby insisted to Us that Erich was being "so supportive," adding, "He understands this is a performance and we have a goal."

Erich popped the question to Gabby at the end of The Bachelorette 19 although voicing days earlier how he'd rather just date the former NFL cheerleader in the real world for a while before getting engaged.

Once Gabby and Erich's relationship was made public, they were plagued with controversy and had to overcome a lot of adversity.


On The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose, Erich was asked about his ex Amanda Kaylor's claims he had continued dating her right up until he left to film the show -- which he allegedly only did for "clout" and new career opportunities -- and had hoped to resume dating her when he returned home.

Erich also sent Amanda a text message, apologizing, right after he got engaged to Gabby and filming ending in July.

Erich apologized on After the Final Rose for having led Amanda on and handling their breakup poorly.

Erich acknowledged he had taken "the cowardly way" out of that relationship because instead of a brutal dumping, he went on The Bachelorette, knowing Amanda wasn't The One and he "couldn't see a future" with her.

But Amanda called Erich out on "bullsh-t" in an interview with Us after the finale.

Gabby, for her part, admitted on After the Final Rose that Erich had acted like "an assh-le" to Amanda.

"When he told me, I'm like, 'Honestly, I'd be pissed too if I was her. I'd probably run to spoiler accounts trying to ruin your life too,'" Gabby admitted.

"But yeah, I was like, 'It's not [about] text messages and this or that, it's your character and how you treated her.' But, you know, it was all before the show and you move on."

Gabby said Erich had been good to her as well as honest about his past, and so she attempted to excuse Erich's mistakes by saying, "Boys are dumb."

As for why Erich reached out to Amanda again, months after she had dumped him for going on The Bachelorette, Gabby explained, "I think it was his 'Hail Mary' to try and get her to not release the texts and to just end the relationship amicably."

She added, "I think his intentions were just to save his own ass."

In addition, a high school yearbook photo of Erich in blackface surfaced and offended fans while The Bachelorette was airing. Erich released a statement September 8 on his Instagram account, apologizing for his "ignorant" and "insensitive" actions as a teenager.

Erich admitted his behavior was "damaging" and he felt "deeply ashamed." He said he'll always regret the offense and believes accountability is only the first step of making a change.

Erich's blackface photo was not addressed on The Bachelorette 19 finale, which angered many people, including The Bachelorette alums Becca Kufrin and Rachel Lindsay.

But Gabby, who was engaged to Erich when the photo resurfaced, ultimately addressed the scandal in an interview with People.

"With his yearbook photo, I found out with the rest of the world, and I was incredibly shocked," Gabby told the magazine in late September.

"[I] just really had to process my thoughts and feelings," Gabby said, "and it made me really think about those scenarios independently and then think about how we can grow as a couple and learn from this."

Gabby admitted she was "pretty much devastated and shocked after seeing that."

Still, the bubbly brunette and Erich had planned to move in together once his apartment lease in Los Angeles was up.


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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.