When asked by E! News if he had asked Higgins to take another turn handing out roses on the ABC hit, Harrison responded emphatically, “I did not think that that would be the appropriate time! Or place.”
“The body’s not even cold yet,” he added. “It’s so premature.”
“I was upset like everybody else,” he said. “Because, you know, beside the fact that they’re on television, they’re real people. And by the way, they’re friends of mine and I care about them and I love them very much.”
He continued, “I feel terrible, and they’re going through a tough time and they’re doing it publicly, which is gonna suck. I reached out and just gave them my best and I’m here for you and I’m a friend. But it’s brutal. It sucks.”
RELATED VIDEO: Bachelor‘s Nick Viall Nailed the Ring Selection for his Bride-To-Be Vanessa Grimaldi
Higgins, 29, met Bushnell, 27, on his season of The Bachelor, which premiered in January 2016. The proposal had come after he famously told both finalists — Bushnell and JoJo Fletcher — that he loved them during the Fantasy Suites episode. Bushnell moved to Higgins’ hometown of Denver shortly after going public with their engagement following the season finale, which aired in March.
Rachel Lindsay‘s season of The Bachelorette premieres Monday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.