As you would’ve well heard by now, Sophie Monk and Stu Laundy have broken up. If you haven’t… are you OK? Are you, alive?
The couple, who became official when 44-year-old Laundy beat out Jarrod ‘Who Pissed in my Pot Plant?’ Woodgate to win 37-year-old Monk’s heart on 2017’s The Bachelorette, has confirmed they are indeed, no more.
SURELY NOT, we cried. SURELY NOT.
But alas, after an unnamed ‘source’ close to the pair blabbed about how Monk and Laundy’s relationship had “naturally run its course” on Thursday night (ugh), The Bachelorette herself announced the news on Instagram in the early hours of Friday morning.
“I don’t know how to explain this because it’s an unusual circumstance to be in…” Monk shared with her 473,000 Instagram followers.
“But because I entered this relationship so publicly, I know I owe an answer to Australia about my personal life.
“I went into this experience looking to settle down and start a family. I gave it the best shot I could and my intentions were everything I said I was looking for, but unfortunately it just didn’t work out.”
Among the very mature and reasonable glass-half-full sentiments around not being afraid to find love, there’s one line we’d like to highlight in particular:
“There were no contracts or pressure to stay together whatsoever from anyone.”
Why would Sophie bring this up in her statement preemptively?
Let’s look a bit closer. Because, you see, the timing of their breakup actually smells rather… fishy.
We used a two-pronged approach to investigate the highly likely but also entirely unfounded theory that perfectly explains why Monk and Laundy chose today of all days to announce their split.
One prong is dutiful journalism. The other, wild speculation. Let’s start with the latter.
If you take a look at your calendar, you’ll note that today is the 26th of January. (And no, that’s not the dutiful journalism bit).
But if you cast your mind back to that fateful night we found out Laundy had won Monk’s heart back in 2017, you’ll find it was the 26th of October. That’s exactly three months since they became ‘official’.
Not three months and two days, or two months and 27 days. BUT THREE MONTHS EXACTLY. You guys, this could be the biggest coincidence of all time… Or it could be the sign of a ‘secret contract’.
AND Sophie Monk + Stu Laundy = 24 characters (including spaces, and the + symbol) which when divided by eight = THREE. Also, Laundy has one yacht, which is two less than THREE.
Which makes the theory of, say, a three-month contract to stay together post-show less Illuminati and more, yeah this could be a thing.
Oh, and for the other prong of this investigation, the following is a comment obtained by Mamamia from a Network Ten spokesperson:
“We are very sorry to hear that Sophie Monk and Stu Laundy have separated and wish them both the very best for the future. Across eight seasons of The Bachelor Australia and The Bachelorette Australia, four couples have found love and have remained together after the cameras have stopped rolling. Our thanks to Sophie and Stu, who genuinely committed to finding love on The Bachelorette Australia, but sadly in life, some relationships are not always lasting."
That was the dutiful journalism bit.
This comment neither confirms nor denies the existence of a contract between Monk and Laundy.
There have been rumours of contracts in the past. The timing of Sam Frost's split with her Bachelorette winner Sasha Mielczarek was speculated to have come after an 18 month contract between the pair and Channel 10.
Which, yes, is longer than Monk's three months. But the network has bent their rules when it comes to Sophie Monk. Remember how she was revealed to be our third Bachelorette before applications opened? Yeah.
But the plot still thickens. Past contestants have denied the existence of relationship 'contracts'. Speaking to Mamamia in early 2017, Georgia Love put it bluntly.
"A big thing that came out that really annoyed me, actually, was the reports that Sam and Sasha announced their split after 18 months together because they were contracted to stay together for 18 months," she said.
"I don’t know what contract they had, but I’m pretty sure it would be the same as mine… and there was no contractual obligation whatsoever to stay together for two minutes after the show, let alone for 18 months. So, for the record, there are no contractual obligations."
So yeah, we've pretty much come full circle, haven't we? We'll let you guys take it from here.
Do you think the timing of Sophie and Stu's breakup is suspicious? Tell us in the comments below!
LISTEN: You can hear Mia Freedman's full interview with Sophie Monk on this episode of No Filter below...