Chris Harrison Says the Bachelorette Finale Will Give Jed Wyatt a 'Chance to Speak' Amid Drama
Jed Wyatt's ex-girlfriend told PEOPLE in June that they were still in a relationship when he left to film Hannah Brown's season of The Bachelorette
According to the ABC dating show’s longtime host Chris Harrison, the upcoming finale and After the Final Rose live special will give the 25-year-old Nashville-based musician his first chance to speak out since his ex-girlfriend told PEOPLE in June that they were still in a relationship when he left to begin filming the show.
“There’s a lot of rumors,” Harrison, 47, tells PEOPLE. “There’s a lot of things being said. I think she has narrowed it down to three good guys. I know how it ended in Greece, but I don’t know how this is going to end up for her.”
“That is why I’m actually really interested in this two-night finale that’s coming up,” he continues. “It’s live, and I love going into a show not knowing how it’s really going to turn out. I want to hear Jed’s side of the story. I think a lot of people have spoken, and before we judge — which we’re so quick to do on Twitter — I would like to hear from him.”
Though Wyatt previously alluded to the drama in a message posted to his Instagram, in which he asked viewers to “reserve judgement” until he’s allowed to “speak openly” about the accusations, Harrison says that he has mostly kept quiet “out of respect” for the show. (Contestants are traditionally barred from speaking publicly about their time on the show until the episode in which they are eliminated airs.)
“That can’t be easy for him,” Harrison says. “So no matter what happens, I will say thank you to him for that. And I respect him for that because I would be jumping from the tree tops to speak my truth [after] being blasted like he has been. So I’m going to give him a chance to speak … I want to give him a chance to speak his truth and find out what’s his side of the story.”
RELATED VIDEO: Bachelorette’s Jed Wyatt Will Reveal His Side of the Ex-Girlfriend Claims: ‘As Soon As I’m Able To, I Will’
According to Wyatt’s ex, fellow musician Haley Stevens, Wyatt was four months into their relationship when he left to join the cast of The Bachelorette and begin vying for Brown’s heart.
“We spent the night together the night before he headed to L.A.,” Stevens, 26, previously told PEOPLE. “He told me [the show] was just an obstacle and we’d be stronger on the other side because of it.”
Stevens said Wyatt was unequivocal about his motives for going on the reality series, which he applied to before they started dating.
“He told me [early on] that he had applied,” she said. “He said, ‘It’s probably not going to happen, but it’s a huge opportunity. I’m only doing this for my music.’ He only did it for his career.”
“He wanted a platform,” she continued. “He kept telling me, ‘I don’t want my dad to have to help me pay rent anymore.’ He said he only wanted to be top five … to be a major player so that it would be beneficial.”
Indeed, Wyatt himself admitted during a one-on-one with Brown, 24, on an episode that aired in June that he signed up for the show because it could be “a huge platform.” But Wyatt — who is now one of Brown’s final three men, along with Tyler Cameron and Peter Weber — told Brown that his mindset changed after meeting her: “Every moment that we’ve had has taken that away and shown me that now more than anything I want to be with you,” he said.
Stevens’ worst fear came true when she learned that Wyatt had returned home to Nashville after the show without calling her. She confronted him when she ran into him at a music venue in June and claimed 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 said. “I asked him, ‘You didn’t think I deserved a phone call?’ And he said, ‘I didn’t know what to say,’ ” she claimed.
They never spoke again about their relationship, and Stevens said 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 said. “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.”
In the Instagram message posted to his account on July 8, Wyatt wrote that he has received “threatening” letters and phone calls in the wake of the drama surrounding Stevens’ claims.
“Hi y’all. Several of you have reached out with messages and questions. Please know I’m not able to answer right now, but as soon as I’m able to, I will,” he wrote. “Until then, I ask that you please understand how much the actions being taken towards myself, my family, the men on the show, and above all, Hannah, are affecting all of our mental and physical health.”
“It goes beyond what is said online,” he continued. “Threatening letters and phone calls have been sent to our homes. My parents and sister are being verbally attacked in public. I beg you to remember what seems like a harmless action is damaging to real people. I want to thank all of you who have reached out or reserved judgement until I am able to speak openly and I can only ask for your patience and kindness until then.”
And Wyatt isn’t the only one of Brown’s final contestants to have an ex-girlfriend come forward. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight published on Monday, model Calee Lutes alleged that Weber unexpectedly broke up with her in December, right before going on the show.
“He definitely didn’t go on the show for the right reasons,” she claimed. “I believe he went on it for the chance at fame, and he got what he wanted.”
The Bachelorette airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.