Blake Horstmann Claims Caelynn Miller-Keyes Was 'in Negotiations' to Star on the 'Bachelorette'

Blake Horstmann and Caelynn Miller-Keyes have gone back and forth about the nature of their relationship before Bachelor in Paradise

Blake Horstmann is sharing new details about his relationship with Caelynn Miller-Keyes.

After weeks of back and forth between the two as their relationship played out on this season of Bachelor in Paradise, Horstmann appeared on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast with hosts (and former Bachelorettes) Ali Fedotowsky and Rachel Lindsay.

During Wednesday’s episode of the podcast, Horstmann, 30, explained that the first time he ever met Miller-Keyes was during a FaceTime session with former Bachelor Colton Underwood in “mid-December.”

“Colton set us up,” Horstmann said, adding that he and Miller-Keyes, 24, then began “talking” and continued to talk and FaceTime regularly “until about mid-March.” He estimated that the two FaceTimed “12, 15 times” during those three months.

“We definitely didn’t FaceTime three times a day,” he added. “We did FaceTime, but it was definitely not three times a day.”

Adding to the drama, Horstmann explained that Miller-Keyes’ emotional interview during the Women Tell All portion of Underwood’s season of The Bachelor was filmed while the two were still “talking.”

ABC/Craig Sjodin (2)

“I think you even saw it on Colton’s face a little bit. I think he was kind of taken aback because he knew we were talking,” Horstmann said. “It was a little confusing for me, too, because the whole time we were talking she was in negotiations to be Bachelorette. And wanted to be Bachelorette.”

“She had asked me certain things about the process,” he explained, adding that he was similarly in the running to become Bachelor the year before.

“We were open about that … She wanted to be the Bachelorette and she was ready to leave and do that right away, but all of a sudden, suddenly it’s like, this very serious and exclusive relationship,” he continued. “That’s where my confusion was. Why act how you did on Women Tell All and the fact that you want to be Bachelorette … and suddenly months later, we were in this very serious relationship?”

Eric McCandless/ABC

Throughout this season of Bachelor in Paradise, the two have gone back and forth about the nature of their relationship, and Miller-Keyes maintained that it was more serious than Horstmann has said. At the beginning of the season, he received backlash after Miller-Keyes revealed he’d hooked up with her just one day after sleeping with Kristina Schulman at the Stagecoach Festival in April.

During the two-night Bachelor in Paradise premiere, Miller-Keyes tearfully told cameras he’d called their night together a “mistake” and begged her to keep the tryst a secret. The audience was on her side, especially as Horstmann pursued two other women in Paradise: Tayshia Adams and Hannah Godwin. But as the episodes aired, Horstmann posted their text messages on his Instagram Story. Their conversation seemed to debunk her story, suggesting she sought him out for sex and was just as concerned about people finding out.

At the Bachelor in Paradise reunion special on Tuesday night, Horstmann and Miller-Keyes finally came face to face after their dramatic season.

Paradise was, a lot of it was my fault, but it was really hard,” Horstmann said during the episode. “From beginning to end, I felt like I had hurt so many people and I had done so many things wrong that didn’t really know how to right things in a sense. … I didn’t do anything malicious. I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody. I wasn’t trying to lead anybody on.”

Blake Horstmann on Bachelor in Paradise.

Meanwhile, Miller-Keyes — who is now dating Bachelor Nation’s Dean Unglert — said that she had “never felt so exposed or violated in my entire life” after Horstmann released their texts.

“I’m sorry, Blake,” Miller-Keyes said of her time on the show. “I was hurt and I was sad. I fully overreacted. I’ve apologized time and time again, but I would never stoop so low to air those text messages.”

Miller-Keyes and the ABC series did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.

With the entire cast encouraging him to apologize, Horstmann stepped up.

“I didn’t want to hurt you,” he told Miller-Keyes. “I’m so sorry that you got attacked and I’m so sorry that you are feeling the way you are. And I want to apologize to everybody because I feel like my actions before Paradise ruined some of your guys’ experiences and that is not what I meant to happen. Clearly I made some mistakes and I’m going to learn from them.”

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