“I felt sad for him,” says Robertson, who dated Luyendyk Jr. on and off for years prior to him going on the show. “But I think he made the right choice in correcting his mistakes.”
Continues Robertson, who got engaged to Ben Flajnik on The Bachelor in 2012 (they split seven months later), “I’ve been through it. … You go into this wanting this fairy-tale ending, and it’s so rarely like that.”
- Watch the full episode of PEOPLE Cover Story: The Bachelor’s Arie Luyendyk — ‘It Was All Worth It’, streaming now on PeopleTV. Go to People.com/peopletv, or download the app on your favorite streaming device.
“I knew that he was feeling like making the switch,” she says of the time she spent after filming with Luyendyk Jr., whom she occasionally works with in real estate. “I’ve never seen him so conflicted and sad. We talked through everything. I gave him the best advice I could give him. I encouraged him to follow his heart.”
- For more on Arie and Lauren, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday
As far as the much-maligned breakup with Kufrin, “it was painful to watch,” says Robertson. “But he made a mistake. People make mistakes. I don’t think people need to pile on.” As far as featuring it on the show, “He told me he filmed it so it would guarantee [Becca] as the next Bachelorette.”
When it comes to facing criticism, “I knew the storm was coming,” she says. “It made me heavy-hearted for everybody. But after watching, I can tell he’s so happy. I think he got what he wanted out of this. I can’t fault him for that.”