'Love Is Blind' 's SK Breaks His Silence on Cheating Claims, His Second Chance with Raven and More

In the first interview since his cheating allegations, Sikiru "SK" Alagbada tells PEOPLE why he proposed to Raven Ross again, when he saw red flags in their romance and the truth about his infidelity

Sikiru "SK" Alagbada is sharing his side of the story for the very first time.

Months after allegations surfaced on TikTok that SK had cheated on his Love Is Blind pick, Raven Ross, SK is coming forward with his own truth in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE.

Taking ownership for his actions, SK admits that he's "not proud of how I conducted myself" — particularly when it came to his second chance at love with Raven and their second proposal on the Love Is Blind: After the Altar special.

"I'm finally ready to speak out because I feel like I owe it to Raven and to the whole world watching, and also to myself, to take full accountability for my actions," he says. "This is not an apology tour. It's really about me owning my actions and taking responsibilities and also just taking the things I've learned from this experience, and I'll continue to learn and grow as a person."

"I do want to deeply express my sincere apology to Raven for the hurt and embarrassment that I caused her," he adds. "I'm not proud of how I conducted myself. I conducted myself in a way that's making me take a step back and reflect."

Below, are the biggest takeaways from PEOPLE's interview with SK.

Love Is Blind. (L to R) Raven Ross, SK Alagbada in episode 304 of Love Is Blind.
Raven and SK from Love Is Blind. Courtesy of Netflix

SK denies physically cheating on Raven — but admits to having an "inappropriate" conversation with another woman during their relationship

Raven and SK initially decided not to wed during the Love Is Blind season 3 finale, only to reconnect after production wrapped.

In November, news of SK's rumored infidelity broke online when a TikTok user shared what she claimed were text messages between her and the reality star. SK denied the accusations at the time, noting there was time between filming Love Is Blind and his reunion with Raven where he was a single man.

However, the Love Is Blind: After the Altar special — which premiered Feb. 10 on Netflix — presented different claims when viewers saw SK propose to Raven post-filming, only to be followed by a video from Raven claiming SK had been unfaithful to her during their engagement. (SK didn't comment on the accusation in the special.)

LOVE IS BLIND. SK Alagbada in LOVE IS BLIND. Cr. Sara Mally/Netflix © 2022
Sikiru "SK" Alagbada. Sara Mally/Netflix

Speaking to PEOPLE, SK says of the claims: "I was not dating anyone when [Raven and I] decided to go into a committed, exclusive relationship. Despite me being from a polygamous family, which was a very sensitive topic for me to share on the show, it is not the kind of lifestyle that I subscribe to and I never will."

"All the previous women that came out... those happened earlier in 2022, when, again, I was still a single guy. Raven and I were still talking, but we were not in a completely committed relationship, including the Cabo trip," he continues, referencing a vacation he went on with another woman in May 2022, just one week after meeting Raven's mom for the first time.

"The Cabo trip happened around May at a time when I really felt Raven and I, we had not exclusively made that completely committed relationship, to be in a marriage-bound, serious relationship," he shares. "However, there was an incident of me having an inappropriate conversation with this woman sometime in the fall. I believe it was around September of [2022], which is completely inappropriate. Didn't end up happening, but... I feel like I shouldn't even have had that kind of conversation with someone."

He adds: "I'm not here to really pick and choose what, or go back and forth about who did what. We all make mistakes. That's something I deeply want to apologize for and take accountability for."

Raven and SK. Sara Mally/Netflix

SK says he experienced "hurt and heartbreak" in his relationship with Raven before they officially split in November 2022

After splitting for the first time around July 2021 (following their failed wedding on Love Is Blind), Raven and SK eventually rekindled their romance in spring 2022.

"When we did start dating again and were trying to build something meaningful, we made a lot of progress," he says. "But sometime last year, there were things that happened during the course of that relationship that also caused a lot of hurt and heartbreak for me."

"Raven revealed to me that her ex was still in the picture while we were filming [Love Is Blind season 3]. This was the primary reason why our onscreen chemistry was kind of off, and I think the audience could sense that," he explains. "To me, [I thought] maybe she just didn't feel comfortable yet, and I wanted to give her and create that safe space for her to become comfortable."

[In response to that allegation, Raven tells PEOPLE: "We all spoke about exes in the pods, it was part of the expedited process to talk about our pasts."]

"She also mentioned previously sometime in the show about dating an older successful guy with whom she had a great life and who bought her things," he continues. "After we started dating again, I discovered that she had, in fact, continued to be in communication with this older guy — both while we were filming and while we were together dating.

"Throughout the course of our relationship [the second time around], Raven and I took at least five different trips, where either I came to Texas or she came to California, and on at least two different occasions of those trips, I personally witnessed incidents of communication between her and this older guy — whether him still blowing up her phone, trying to call or FaceTime her, or even a text message that talked about the possibility of them having kids together," he claims. "He said that. And that communication went on until late summer after a time when Raven and I were seriously committed to be exclusive in a relationship."

[Raven tells PEOPLE it is "completely untrue" that she was "in touch with an older man while in a relationship" with SK.]

SK notes those incidents, in addition to the challenges of a long-distance relationship and navigating a relationship away from cameras, became "very difficult for me."

SK admits he should've ended things with Raven after noticing some "serious" red flags in their relationship

Months before his second proposal on After the Altar, SK and Raven went on a "pivotal" trip to New Orleans to meet her mom, which SK says ultimately helped validate how their "priorities were not aligned," and she was not the person for him.

"I'm saying this not to make excuses for my actions because the most honorable thing to do at that point would've been to end the relationship if I felt like we weren't both in it," he says. "But I did also see that we were both trying to put in deliberate efforts to make things work between us. It's just important for me to let people know that this was not a case of a happy, problem-free relationship that I just messed up for no reason. Our relationship had serious, real-life challenges, coupled with the pressures of doing this in the most public way possible and trying to do something on our own terms, that made things very difficult."

"Another very important, pivotal part of our relationship was the trip we took to New Orleans to go meet her mom [for the first time]. I remember this was sometime in May of [2022]. It was around the second weekend of Jazz Fest, and I was really excited," he recalls. "The final day in New Orleans, Raven and I had a very, very long heart-to-heart conversation. We were trying to figure out what our immediate goals were, because at the time, things were getting really serious between us. We were heading towards becoming a very committed, even marriage-bound relationship."

"But there were still a lot of unanswered questions, or at least doubts, that I had. I really wanted to use that moment to get an idea or sense of where her head is at, what her immediate goals or short-term goals are, and just really try to answer some of those questions that I'd been having doubts about," he explains. "In that conversation, most of what I got out of it was, 'I'm not ready to settle down now. I'm not ready to start a family, move to the suburbs, whatever normal married people do, or people who want to settle down.' The conversation was more around, 'Oh, I just really want to build my brand, I just really want to work on my business.' I was stunned, and I was like, 'What about us? Where do we fall in this whole short-term picture?'"

Though he acknowledges that they had similar conversations in the pods and that Raven's "drive and ambition" were one of the things that attracted him to her, SK says he felt a bit hurt by Raven's perspective at the time.

"It just felt like, 'This is real life now. All these things are great, but what do you want out of this relationship? Or what are we trying to build from this relationship?' And I didn't really get that, like someone who really had me in her forever future plan. It was really more about, 'Right now, I just want to focus on myself, focus on my brand, build my business,'" he shares. "Mind you, at this time, I was already halfway done with my MBA program. I was starting to make plans because I knew I would be graduating in a year's time, so I can start setting things up to set us up for success post-MBA. Especially, because she stuck around me throughout that time."

SK adds: "I left that New Orleans trip confirming and validating that Raven and I, our priorities were not aligned. I really left that New Orleans trip wanting to end the relationship with her just because of that very reason. It was the last validation that I needed to tell me if we were in this for the right [reasons] and if we were both aligned on our goals of what we wanted... But against my better judgment, I did not act on those feelings, and we continued dating and working on the relationship. In retrospect, I wish I'd ended things at that time. At the same time, I blame no one but myself. The reality is, I felt like Raven and I were focused on two different things."

SK provides more insight into why he proposed to Raven for a second time despite not being fully committed to the relationship

Despite having one foot already out of the relationship, SK continued dating Raven — and then shocked viewers when he re-proposed to her on the After the Altar special, filmed towards the end of summer 2022.

"The proposal and me asking her to marry me again and all that, there's been a lot of backlash around that. But the truth is, there was a lot more going on behind the scenes as far as the origin and circumstances surrounding this proposal that I'm not at liberty to discuss publicly," he says. "I felt quite uncomfortable about how the whole proposal was being portrayed, so I really did ask them to take it out. Because at the end of the day, Love Is Blind is a very well-professionally produced and edited TV show that's optimized for audience engagement. The way the proposal was presented and all that wasn't any different from that."

RELATED VIDEO: Love Is Blind's Raven and SK Announce Split After Cheating Allegations: 'Forever Shaped Our Lives'

SK claims he was blindsided by Raven's tearful video in Love Is Blind: After the Altar following their split

In the special, the pair were shown getting engaged, followed by a reveal that Raven and SK had split "a few weeks" after the proposal. Raven later claimed SK had cheated on her in a tearful video she recorded from home after filming on the special had wrapped.

However, SK did not record a video for the special — and he says it's not because he didn't want to address the claims.

"The producers did give us an opportunity to tell our own sides of the story. At the time, Raven and I were still in communication, we talked almost every day. We were still very cordial and civil with each other. It was not a bad breakup," he shares. "I remember one of Raven's biggest requests when we broke up was for me not to just completely disappear away from her life like that, or from each other's lives, because at that point, we already had played very significant roles in each other's lives. And I respected and honored that."

"When they gave us the opportunity to tell our side of the story, Raven and I had initially decided to not make an already-messy situation even messier, and just keep our personal private business away from being dramatized," SK explains. "That was the agreement we both had... we're just not going to record it. Worst case, they're just going to put some text on the screen, like 'The proposal, the engagement didn't work out.'"

"I did not know that Raven went behind and recorded that post-proposal reaction. So me watching that all over again for the first time, seeing it on-screen play out that way, I was really surprised, because I was like, 'I thought we weren't going to do this,'" he claims. "I do [wish I had recorded something] actually. And I honestly didn't because, again, out of respect for what we once had together, that was what we both decided, and I just respected [it], which obviously did not end up playing out that way."

Love Is Blind. (L to R) SK Alagbada, Raven Ross in episode 309 of Love Is Blind. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
Raven and SK. Netflix

SK had "no idea" that multiple women were planning to come forward on TikTok — but says it was "a blow" witnessing Raven's reaction

While he was shocked to see the infidelity rumors become public, SK says he was more hurt by the way Raven reacted to everything.

"Those women, I had no idea they were going to do that. When it started happening, it was really just about me making sure that this didn't affect Raven that much, or at least try to protect her from all this embarrassment," he says. "I remember a particular incident that happened in the middle of this crisis... Raven was like, 'This is getting in the way. It's affecting my business. I have brand deals and things I need to post on TikTok, and I can't do that, because that's what everybody on TikTok wants to talk about. So you have to do something,' which really led me to seek legal actions to make this stop, and make these women stop misrepresenting the nature of our relationships."

"For me, it was very important. I did not want my mess and my poor judgment to affect Raven in any way," he continues. "But also at the same time, it also made me think, we're a couple that was still engaged, and we're going through this problem, and literally on day two or day three of this crisis, what you're really most worried about is this not affecting your business and you not being able to post on TikTok?"

"For me, I was like, 'Damn, can we grieve? Can we go through this and try to figure this out as a couple?' But for her, it was like, 'No, you have to do something, you have to make this stop. It's affecting me, it's affecting the business.' So I had to be very proactive," he adds. "It was one of the reasons why we literally had to abruptly announce our breakup to the public, even though we were still in communication with each other. It was one of the reasons why I had to seek legal help to make all those videos stop and get taken down, which they did. And two, three days after they were taken down, she went back to posting stuff about her business again. For me, it just really was kind of like a blow because we didn't really have that moment of two people trying to grieve or go through a crisis together and try to figure things out, even if we were going to eventually end up breaking up. At the time, it really felt like, 'Hey, you messed up. I'm out of here. You've got to fix this.' And I had no choice [other] than to fix it."

Love Is Blind. (L to R) SK Alagbada, Raven Ross in season 3 of Love Is Blind.
Raven and SK. Patrick Wymore/Netflix

SK regrets not being upfront with Raven about the cheating allegations or having "hard conversations" with her before their split

Claiming the pair never liked to "create conflict," SK says he and Raven often brushed things under the rug to keep their relationship smooth sailing – including his inappropriate relations with the other woman, which he regrets not sharing sooner.

"I definitely did have plans of letting everything out and being completely honest with her about the poor decisions I made in the past. We just hadn't really had the opportunity to do that," he says. "I regret it now, honestly, that there were a lot of hard conversations that we chose not to have. There was a lot of not trying to create conflict or just avoiding the hard conversation out of wanting this to work out. So yeah, in retrospect, I did have plans to talk to her and explain everything to her, regardless of how difficult it would've been, but it was also a theme that was kind of dominant in our relationship, just trying to avoid conflict and confrontation and having those hard conversations that could potentially go the opposite way."

love is blind season 3
Raven and SK on their wedding day. NETFLIX

SK weighs in on Raven's new relationship — and whether he thinks it came too quicky after their November 2022 split

In an interview with PEOPLE earlier this month, Raven revealed she's in a new relationship and manifesting an engagement by the end of the year. When asked how he felt about this, SK says it was "very interesting" but he has no bad blood for his ex.

"Like I said, right in the middle of our crisis, while we're trying to grieve and go through this tragedy, I had already seen a lot of this play out," he says. "So all that is not completely foreign to me. It's a theme that constantly continued to revolve in the course of us trying to rekindle our relationship, which made me have a lot of doubts about what we were doing. And it is my fault for still continuing on and not ending things when I had those doubts."

"While I honestly really believe that Raven and I did take intentional effort into building something serious that just turned out to be unsuccessful, I have no regrets," he adds. "I wish her well in however she chooses to decide to continue to live her life. I think this was a very, very difficult experience for both of us. And people tend to deal with things differently. So I have nothing but well wishes for her and I wish her all the best."

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Love Is Blind is now streaming on Netflix.

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