Last season The Bachelor featured more than two dozen beautiful single women from across the country competing for the heart of hunky Texas club owner Brad Womack, but it was single mother of one Emily Maynard who not only won the heart of Brad but also the viewers at home with her tragic tale of losing her fiance Ricky Hendrick in a plane crash just a week before finding out she was pregnant with his child.
But it wasn’t just her story that won over the hearts of thousands, Emily was a real sweetheart with an irresistible Southern accent and yes, amazing looks. So it seemed like a storybook ending when Brad proposed to Emily at the end of the season and the two seemed headed for a Texas-sized happily ever after.
^ The Bachelor Brad Womack and Emily Maynard holding hands while out and about in Austin, Texas April 30, 2011 (Splash News)
Alas, as is often the case with romance, the wheels seemed to fall off not long after filming ended. Brad and Emily even admitted during their update during the Final Rose Special that they had already broken up and gotten back together. That was followed by months in which every other day had a new tabloid headline proclaiming the couple to be split up or back together.
Now it’s official. Emily Maynard and Brad Womack have split up for good and she spoke with Chris Harrison about the breakup in an interview segment that aired along with Monday night’s episode of The Bachelorette:
An emotional Emily arrived at The Bachelor house and then sat down with Chris. She tells Chris that the next time she saw him she expected to be planning a wedding. After talking a bit about what drew her to Brad initially the two got down to business:
CHRIS: Where does your relationship with Brad stand right now?
EMILY: We’re not engaged any more. But he’s – sorry. (begins to cry) But he’s, you know, always going to be a huge part of my life and I don’t – for so long I think that we left the dot, dot, dot and I feel bad that it’s taken us this long to let everybody know. I’m just finally ready to say it.
CHRIS: Are you still in love with Brad?
EMILY: I’ll always be in love with Brad. No one will ever hear me say a bad word about him, nor will I tolerate anyone else saying anything bad about him. Not a day will go by that I don’t regret how things have turned out and wish things were different.
CHRIS: So I know this is the million dollar question, because everybody wants to know, and I’m not saying everyone has a right to know, but because this was so public everybody does want to know – after The Final Rose Special when you guys started anew and I knew you guys to be going well – what happened? What went wrong?
EMILY: The day that Brad proposed to me was one of the happiest days I can remember. The show stopped airing and I was going to get Ricki and I an apartment, and I was going through my house cleaning everything out. I was so excited.
^ Brad Womack and Emily Maynard from The Bachelor Season 15 (ABC)
CHRIS: So when you say get an apartment were you going to move to Austin?
EMILY: Get an apartment in Austin for the summer and just kind of see how things go. I couldn’t move in with him, you know? I have Ricki and I -
CHRIS: I understand.
EMILY: I just wouldn’t do that. But little red flags would come up in our relationship and I came to a point where I said I have to be honest with myself and with this relationship. I realized that maybe my “want” for it to work out – I wanted to be married, and I wanted to have more children, and I wanted that with him – maybe overshadowed the actual reality of the relationship.
I didn’t doubt that we loved each other, I just doubted if he was still going to want to be with me, you know? I think that we were both used to being single and I think that that’s a hard adjustment. As a single mom I don’t have the luxury of saying, “I’ll just figure it out when I get there,” you know? Or “Everything will go away when I get there.” I need to know that the person I am moving for is going to want to be with me six weeks down the road, much less six years, and I just didn’t have that reassurance. Maybe we didn’t have what it takes to last forever. When I get married I want it to be forever.
I think that’s what makes this so hard is just remembering that, and how things took such a turn. And I don’t know how it happened. I wish I would have known, or that we could have done something different. And I promise nobody is any more disappointed about it than I am. But you know, I wanted to do that, I felt like it was a fairy tale going through it, and I feel like everybody else did too, so I didn’t want anybody to feel like they were lied to. This is my worst nightmare.
I’ve just always believed that, or thought that as long as you love each other that it will work. And I swore that we would be the one that would, you know? Because I felt like what we had was so real, and my hopes were so high, and I wanted it so bad. It’s just really disappointing and it feels like a failure and – you know, you want something so bad and it doesn’t happen and it’s just heartbreaking. I just had such high expectations for everything.
CHRIS: Well I appreciate you being here. We have a lot more to discuss. This is the first time you have spoken out publicly about your break up with Brad, so I’ll continue my talk with Emily when we come back right after this.
CHRIS: Welcome back. Talking with Emily – the first time she has spoken out about her break up with Brad. First of all I wanted to discuss why Brad isn’t here today. You know this – I’ve talked to Brad. He knows that you and I are sitting here and he actually gave his blessing.
EMILY: Oh yeah. You know, I wish I didn’t have to sit here. You all invited me to come and do this awhile ago and Brad and I both said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” I just thought that it would go away after a while and people would move on to the next couple, but everybody deserves to know what happened because whenever you go on the show you open your life up and I want to tell people, but I want it to end with this. I just want to say it one time, you know? Anybody who’s ever gone through a breakup knows that you don’t want to tell the story 18 times. It’s hard to talk about once. I trust you to tell the story and not sell it.
CHRIS: I know you guys have been attacked and haunted by the tabloids, by the paparazzi – Try to shed a little light on what your life has been like – what that’s been like.
EMILY: I think that anybody that comes on the show expects a little bit of that, but there’s nothing that anybody can do to prepare you for this kind of attention – going from being a nobody to being followed to the grocery store.
CHRIS: So the paparazzi would sit outside your house?
EMILY: Oh yeah, the cameramen would sit outside my house all day and all night and follow us everywhere. I couldn’t go anywhere.
CHRIS: So they would literally follow you and Ricki everywhere you went?
EMILY: Oh yeah! and it’s hard to explain to a five year old, who doesn’t know what The Bachelor is, why anybody is taking pictures, you know? She would only buy that they were taking pictures of the book store – of everybody – for so long. She thinks that I am the least cool person ever. I told her that everybody thought I was Taylor Swift and she didn’t believe me.
CHRIS: It’s been so difficult trying to live this in the public eye. Do you think Brad and you would have made it outside of all this?
EMILY: I don’t know. I think it would have been much easier – much easier.
CHRIS: When was the last time you talked to Brad?
EMILY: Just a couple days ago. We text a lot and we talk often.
CHRIS: Do you think you’ll remain in touch?
EMILY: Oh yeah. He has, I feel like, changed me as a person. He has taught me a lot, and I’ll always, always be here for him. Always.
CHRIS: He is incredibly protective of you. And so I see this between you two, and I see what that does to you right now.
EMILY: It makes me sad because I know that we love each other enough you know? That we could make it work if it was just based on that.
EMILY: But it’s not. And it’s just really sad.
CHRIS: So where do you go from here?
EMILY: Right now I just – I don’t know. Right now I just want to focus on being a mom and not have to worry about somebody in the bushes taking pictures or if something I tell a girlfriend is going to end up in a magazine the next day. And not knowing who to trust – all this tension brings out the worst in people and it’s been really hard on me. You don’t know who to turn to so you end up just staying by yourself, and that makes you even more sad.
CHRIS: Well I very much appreciate you coming here. And I’m sorry that you and I are sitting down talking like this.
EMILY: Me too.
CHRIS: This is the last place I want to be sitting with you. And I’m sorry Brad wasn’t here with us today.
EMILY: Me too.
CHRIS: I speak for everybody on The Bachelor who ever came in contact with you, and I know there are millions of viewers – we all wish you the best.
EMILY: Thank you. Thank you very much.
Although Emily is way to polite to say it explicitly, it sounds as though she doubted Brad’s commitment to their relationship. I think this excerpt from Emily sums it all up:
I didn’t doubt that we loved each other, I just doubted if he was still going to want to be with me, you know? I think that we were both used to being single and I think that that’s a hard adjustment. As a single mom I don’t have the luxury of saying, “I’ll just figure it out when I get there,” you know? Or “Everything will go away when I get there.” I need to know that the person I am moving for is going to want to be with me six weeks down the road, much less six years, and I just didn’t have that reassurance.
It seems obvious that their break up wasn’t acrimonious and it doesn’t appear as though the signs Brad wasn’t truly ready for marriage and fatherhood didn’t include infidelity, so we shouldn’t look at Brad as too much of a villain in this. Although, he did go BACK on the show again after experiencing commitment issues the first time around and now it appears as though he hadn’t completely worked through those yet – so in that since perhaps Brad took Emily (and viewers) on a bit of a ride.
Rumors are already swirling that Emily Maynard may be the next Bachelorette, but after hearing all of the negative things she had to say about fame and being in the headlines I can’t see how she could accept that offer without seeming a bit disingenuous. So far there are no rumors that Brad Womack will be back again for a third try.