Ali Oetjen was an unexpected choice for this year’s Bachelorette.
The 32-year-old has already experienced two failed attempts in the franchise. She competed for Tim Robard’s heart in the first season of The Bachelor and then she had a short-lived romance with Grant Kemp, a former contestant from the US franchise of the show, on Bachelor in Paradise.
After the finale aired, Grant went public with claims that Ali had cheated on him with his best friend… on some stairs. Ali has remained the target of intense media scrutiny as Grant has continued to fuel rumours about her past relationships and sexual partners.
Just last week, Grant told tabloids Ali had slept with her ex-fiance’s brother.
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Now, the whole country seems to have formed an opinion about Ali before the show has even begun.
But that hasn’t stopped Ali from coming back for more.
On Wednesday night, the fitness influencer will meet 16 new suitors. She told Mamamia she’s not going to let Grant ruin that moment for her.
“What Grant is saying about me is just horrible,” she said. “If you have an ex saying stuff about what you discussed in your relationship – someone that you trusted – and now it’s out there, it’s not very nice.”
Ali said she’s absolutely moved on from Grant – even though he insists on continuing to comment on her life.
“It’s something that I have definitely left in the past. It’s really annoying. I feel like he’s definitely just someone who’s trying to ride this wave and get his name in the headlines all the time and he’s succeeding,” she told Mamamia.
While the whole Grant debacle is on her mind this week, Ali says she’s “so happy and at peace with everything” after her experience on The Bachelorette.
“I just feel sorry for him,” she said.
Ali said she decided to return to the franchise because she wasn’t prepared to give up on love.
“I feel like whoever falls in love the first time they try… good on them and really good luck,” she explained.
“I keep on trying because I’m not going to settle for anyone less than I deserve. I felt like this opportunity was definitely going to allow me to find that person.”
And this time she was determined to find someone who was, erm, the complete opposite of Grant.