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Rachel Recchia and Gabby Windey hit back at Susie Evans over claims Clayton Echard was bullied

Gabby Windey & Rachel Recchia
Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia speak out. Pic credit: ABC

Since The Bachelorette premiere aired, Bachelor Nation, Susie Evans, and Clayton Echard have spoken about the shade thrown at Clayton.

Since some of the male suitors had insults to throw at Clayton, including a children’s choir singing Clayton Sucks, fans have shared their disappointment over that portion of the premiere.

Now that viewers have been talking about it, and Susie threw out the word bullying, Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia are speaking out.

Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia share their side of the story

During Us Weekly’s Here for the Right Reasons podcast after The Bachelorette premiere, both women talked about the whole Clayton thing.

Rachel Recchia spoke first as she stated, “Of course, no one was ever using his name maliciously or to be mean or bully him. We would’ve maybe liked to hear it a little less. I’m sure he would’ve as well, but it was just all kind of in good fun in a way to try to connect with us since the only time [the contestants] ever saw us was on his season.”

Gabby added to Rachel’s insight and included that she could understand why Clayton and Susie were upset and didn’t like what they saw.

She relayed, “I hope it doesn’t really play like that. I mean, in the moment, you know, Rachel and I were like, ‘Man, I wish we could kind of talk about something else.’ But it was literally just a week prior that [The Bachelor] had ended and everybody saw the ending at AFR. So it’s still so fresh.”

Gabby added, “So I think watching it back this many months later is why it also has kind of a bigger feel to it, [like], ‘Why now?’ But you also have to remember when we were filming, it was really fresh. I don’t think anyone meant anything malicious. I don’t think it was truly slander. I feel they were just trying to poke fun at it. But we understand definitely where they’re coming from.”

Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia talk sympathy for Clayton Echard after being leads

When asked if she and Gabby feel sympathy for Clayton after they filmed their season and saw what it was like to be the lead, Rachel claimed it’s two completely different situations.

Rachel did say that she and Gabby understood how, as the lead, you could form multiple connections with the men and have feelings for more than one person.

However, she said it was different because of the way she and Gabby handled their journeys versus how Clayton handled his.

Clayton Echard responded to The Bachelorette premiere

Clayton has also spoken out, along with his girlfriend, Susie Evans, to talk about how he felt while watching the premiere of Gabby and Rachel’s season.

While he said he laughed off most of the insults and shade thrown at him, he also felt like the jokes would potentially lead to more thrown his way. He also reiterated the words “cyberbullying,” which Susie brought up, too.

Susie was more annoyed than Clayton by the whole thing and has expressed her fears that this might open up issues with Clayton’s mental health again.

As The Bachelorette continues to air, fans expect more drama, more controversy, and hopefully two proposals for Gabby and Rachel at the end.

For the full episode with Gabby and Rachel and the Here for the Right Reasons podcast, click here.

The Bachelorette airs on Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.

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