Haley Stevens claims Jed Wyatt promised her that he was only going on the show to advance his career
When Jed Wyatt left to film this season of The Bachelorette, he’d already found love, according to singer-songwriter Haley Stevens: with her.
Speaking exclusively to PEOPLE in this week’s issue, Stevens, 26, says she was four months into a relationship with the 25-year-old Nashville-based musician when he flew to Los Angeles for the show. According to Stevens, Wyatt applied before they started dating. He allegedly reassured her that he was only going on TV to advance his career and that they would “be stronger on the other side because of it.”
(This aligns with what fans watched Wyatt admit to Hannah Brown, 24, during a one-on-one date. “When I signed up for the show, I was so clueless,” he said on a recent episode. “I was open to the idea because I love love. I do, I love the idea of it. But my first thought was this is like a huge platform, and I just want you to know the truth. So I came in with that mindset, but every moment that we’ve had has taken that away and shown me that now more than anything I want to be with you.”)
So after Wyatt got the call in February that he had officially been cast, the two took a romantic trip to the Bahamas, where Stevens says they said “I love you” for the first time.
“We spent the night together the night before he headed to L.A.,” she says. “He called me when he landed. He said, ‘I love you, and I’ll call you when I get back.’ “
Stevens also provided PEOPLE with a letter she claims Wyatt wrote to her the night before he left for the show.
“Haley, you’re truly an amazing person,” the note reads. “Someday we will be thankful for all of this. You know where my heart will be. See you at the dock, J.”
Wyatt is currently one of Brown’s nine remaining suitors on the show. A rep for The Bachelorette had no comment from Brown or Wyatt.
Like all contestants, Wyatt had to surrender his phone during filming, so Stevens had no idea what was happening — and grew increasingly anxious. Her worst fear came true when she recently learned that Wyatt had returned home to Nashville without calling her. She confronted him when she ran into him at a music venue earlier this month and says Wyatt offered little explanation as to what happened.
“He said, ‘Hey how have you been?’ and I said, ‘How do you think I’ve been?’ ” she says. “I asked him, ‘You didn’t think I deserved a phone call?’ And he said, ‘I didn’t know what to say.’ “
They never spoke again about their relationship, and Stevens says she doesn’t know how things turned out with Wyatt and Brown.
“Everything in me wants to believe that he meant everything he said and got caught up in [the show],” she says. “I don’t believe he’s a terrible person, but it’s a terrible situation. And part of me thinks I was the backup plan and he wanted me to be here in case it didn’t work out. I feel 100 percent betrayed.”
The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.