"Bachelorette" contestant Jordan Kimball, who proposed to Jenna Cooper on Tuesday night's season finale of "Bachelor in Paradise," has ended their relationship after learning of texts ascribed to Cooper that called their relationship a sham done for publicity and business purposes.
"I'm removing myself from the relationship with intentions to take care of myself and find my happiness," the Wilhelmina male model told Entertainment Weekly Wednesday. "I will not lash out, I will not try to convince people that she is a bad person. You will not see me pursue any kind of vengeance on her," added Kimball, whom ABC described as a 26-year-old from Crystal River, Florida, when he appeared on Becca Kufrin's "Bachelorette" season 14 in May.
He concurrently posted on Instagram that, "I deal with unreasonable circumstances reasonably and have come to terms with a decision to remove myself from the relationship. … Fumbling emotions and being understanding is not easy. I'll be taking time to pursue my inner peace and she will always have me to talk to." He asked of those who have "reached out to me, allow me time. Thank you to those that have."
The proposal was taped Aug. 28, and Kimball said he was already in the throes of planning a wedding for June 9, Cooper's birthday.
Reality-TV blogger Steve Carbone published the texts early Tuesday on his Reality Steve website, saying he had confirmed they came from Cooper's phone number. They were supplied by the self-described recipient, an unnamed man who said that he and Cooper were in an intimate relationship, had had an argument on Sunday and had subsequently exchanged texts on Monday.
One reads, "Me and Jordan aren't together for real. I don't even like him let alone love him. I'm better than him and once I'm able to I'll break it off for good and make up some story to make him look bad if it'll make you feel better. He means nothing to me and never has. None of the other guys I go out with mean anything. All for work and network. You're the only one I need in my life. The only guy who interests me. I need to you to love me and always be there for me."
Cooper, a 29-year-old Indiana native who as of at least December worked as a fitness trainer and social-media marketer at Orangetheory Fitness in Raleigh, North Carolina, initially told People magazine in a statement: "I am aware of the allegations being made against me and they are simply untrue. I am choosing to focus on my relationship right now."
Wednesday afternoon she tweeted that the texts "were completely fabricated, and I never sent them to anyone. I did not cheat on Jordan, and I have nothing to hide. I have been extremely open and vulnerable throughout this whole process. I was looking for love, and I found it." She said an attorney was helping her "investigate this hurtful and fraudulent attack on my character. We are evaluating all legal remedies to punish those responsible."
"I care about Jenna," Kimball told Entertainment Weekly. "Everyone saw me fall at first sight for her and I will never deny that. Just because this has happened does not mean that I will discount how I felt for her. I will not try to play it off that it doesn't hurt. I would be doing the love that I felt for her an injustice if I were to say that I didn't feel strongly about this.”