BACHELORETTE star Greg Grippo claimed he quit Katie Thurston’s season of the ABC dating series because it was “too scripted.”
The New Jersey native, 28, was the fan-favorite of season 17, but he ended up storming off set and ending his time with Katie when she was down to her final few.
After having a few months between when his final episodes aired and now, Greg opened up with We Met at Acme podcast about why he truly decided to quit.
Despite being so close to the final rose and possibly the start of a true relationship with Katie, he said it all just “felt too scripted.”
He added that he understood he had to “play by” the rules of the show and took no issue with “there being two other guys there” in the fantasy suite, but he wanted a little more maturity from everyone.
“I wasn’t looking for the show to end, I wasn’t at all,” Greg said. “I wanted us to communicate on a mutual level in those moments.”
As one of Katie’s front-runners, he said it was “a really tough decision to leave [and] one of the hardest things” he’s ever had to do.
In the end, though, he said he had to do what was best for himself because this was his life.
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Greg said on the podcast: “If this is going to be the person I marry, I want it to be completely real.
“And, like, yeah, I want to show my family after and be like, ‘Look that we accomplished, look at what we went through.’
“That’s one of the hardest things, I feel like, to make it out of the mud with someone, you know, [on] that damn dating show.”
While the 28-year-old said he believes his feelings for Katie “were real,” he doesn’t believe she had that “mutual love” for him but actually always had “stronger feelings for Blake [Moynes].”
After quitting The Bachelorette, Greg admitted he still held out some hope that the two of them would be together in the future.
He said he was asking everyone involved with the show or close to Katie if she and Blake had gotten engaged or if she was going to make her way back to him.
“I was calling producers left and right,” Katie’s ex said. “I was also telling my family, I’m like, ‘Guys, I think there’s a better chance than not [we get back together] because let me tell you, it’s like very real between us.’”
Not only did Katie and Blake end up getting engaged – though the split a few months later – but she also slammed Greg as a “liar” who just “used her for exposure.”
While sitting in the hot seat at the After the Final Rose portion of The Bachelorette with hosts Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe, Katie shouted at Greg: “You’re a liar! If you think that’s love, you don’t know what love is!”
She fired off at him: “In the moment I didn’t realize it but watching it back, I gave you all the validation you needed.
“But the anger I had watching it back, using me to get the experience, the exposure, dare I say the acting practice at my expense.”
Katie also accused Greg of trying to gaslight her, which he claimed on the podcast that he only recently started to learn even meant.
The New Jersey native said: “I felt like people were tossing around that word. … I’m, like, truly trying to understand what people were trying to say like, you know, [saying I was] really manipulating her mindset.
“And that’s the furthest thing from what I was trying to do.
“Not even a sliver of my intention was to gaslight her at all.”
Now, he’s put an end to his hopes that he and Katie will one day get together and said that “chapter’s closed” and he no longer thinks they’re “right for each other anyway.”