The Bachelorette Becca Kufrin’s runner-up, Blake Horstmann, opened up about surviving a school shooting during his time on the show, discussed with Us Weekly Garrett Yrigoyten’s Instagram scandal, during which he was discovered to have “liked” memes suggesting survivors of the Parkland, Florida shooting were crisis actors, as well as those making fun of feminists, trans people and immigrants.
“That’s not the Garrett I knew in the house,” Blake told reporters during a conference call on Tuesday, August 7. “I’m sure he will learn from all of this and I trust Becca, I trust her decision and I trust her character.”
He added: “I have not had the chance to talk to him, no, we have not communicated, since, you know, early in the journey. … Maybe there will be a time in the future, but as of now, no. I’ll let them have their moment.”
Garrett apologized for his actions in a lengthy statement on Instagram at the time. He also acknowledged he made a mistake during The Bachelorette: After the Final Rose special and during the Tuesday conference call.
“I just issued that apology on my Instagram and I stand by everything I said on there,” he explained. I’m just trying to grow and be a better person. I know I’ve made some mistakes and I recognized those mistakes and I’m just trying to be better and move forward, but I apology and I’m sorry to anyone that I hurt or offended. … I don’t believe David Hogg is a crisis actor, no, I don’t.”
Garrett added: “I’m starting to read the posts now and going from there, whereas before I would kind of just scroll through and double tap the images. So now I’m reading into things before I’m supporting them.”
No one should ever regret falling in love. I know I sure don’t. #thebachelorette is a journey I will always look back on and smile. I have seen some incredible places and made incredible friends that will be in my life forever. I put every ounce of me into this experience and got more out of it then I could have imagined. I learned I should pee before my next rose ceremony. I learned to never wear a red bow tie with an all black suit, and I learned my haircut is very square. No but seriously…I learned most of all, that being honest means being vulnerable and open and to fight for the woman you love no matter the obstacles. #bachelornation is something I never expected. The support has been overwhelming and it truly is something special. I want you all to know I appreciate every comment and message and I will get back to as many as I can! Finally I never expected to truly fall in love on this show, but I’m so glad I did. @bkoof I want to thank you for showing me the kind of relationship I want in my life and just how much love I am capable of. You are a special woman and I wish you all the happiness in the world! I will never apologize for how hard I love and I will love again just as hard…
Blake, meanwhile, held back tears during the July 16 episode of The Bachelorette as he opened up about a school shooting during his senior year.
“It was really hard because I was a senior, my sister was a freshman, and my mom worked at the school, so we were all in this building when it all happened. It was a complete stranger. He just happened to be camping in the area and obviously had some mental issues,” Blake explained. “There was some real fear, obviously. We really didn’t know at that time what was going on, and we started stacking desks and hiding behind desks and chairs. Finally, the SWAT team came in and they slid their badge under the door and escorted us out. Unfortunately, one student did lose her life. It just changed my outlook on life, and I wanted you to know why it’s important to me to be positive and to see life as a gift.”
Kufrin has also stood by her man throughout the scandal.
“I got to see who he is — his heart, his soul,” she said during After the Final Rose. “And the Instagram situation, I don’t condone that, and I know that he stands by his apology and he feels so bad for everyone that he did offend and he didn’t mean it. But I just want to move forward and to learn and to grow and to continue to educate ourselves.”