Vanessa Grimaldi accepted the final rose and said "yes" when Nick Viall proposed at the end of Season 21 of "The Bachelor." Now, though, she said she only did so to avoid "backlash" from fans.
"I didn't want to get engaged," she said on the "Let's Talk About It With Taylor Nolan" podcast on Tuesday.
During the eye-opening conversation, Vanessa, 32, said she told Nick she was hesitant about a quick engagement, recalling she told him that she wanted to take things slow and date after the cameras were off. Nick, though, believed that an engagement would strengthen their bond and keep the naysayers at bay.
"I had a conversation with him, and I said, 'Listen, wouldn't it be better if we just date outside of the show and then get engaged? 'Cause that'd be more meaningful. We'd get to know each other,'" she recalled. "He said, 'I know to you it could be just a piece of jewelry, but there's so much meaning towards us leaving engaged because there's going to be so much attention. There's going to be so much, like, backlash on us once we're done with the show. At least this is going to hold us so much more. It's going to hold us together. It's going to hold us together more than, it's true. Cause you have, like, something you're working towards, right?'"
ABC didn't air the conversation, she said. Still, she accepted his marriage proposal.
"I wouldn't have said yes if I didn't picture him as someone that I could've potentially grown with," she said on the podcast.
Vanessa and Nick split five months after the the season finale aired in March 2017.
"I think if we weren't engaged, we would've broken up sooner," she explained in the podcast.
Vanessa is now dating businessman Josh Wolfe, and they've been talking about an engagement. Nick was recently linked to actress Rachel Bilson.