Bachelor star Juan Pablo Galavis' former costars are coming to his defense following his controversial comments about having a gay contestant on the ABC hit reality series.
Mikey Tenerelli and James Case, along with the former Venezuelan soccer star vied for Desiree Hartsock's heart on the ninth season of The Bachelorette, spoke to E! News exclusively on Saturday, Jan. 18.
"I spent four weeks with Juan Pablo in the mansion and shared a room with him. We had lots off-camera conversations," Tenerelli said. "He's an extremely accepting person that loves everyone."
Tenerelli added that the language barrier was sometimes an issue for the former Venezuelan soccer star.
"He would often tell me that the translation issue was hard on him," Tenerelli explained. "There would be times when he would pull me aside and explain that he didn't fully understand what we were all talking about. He's insecure about it and it makes him nervous. But he doesn't stereotype and he doesn't hate against groups. He's very loving."
James Case echoed Tenerelli's sentiments, saying the man he knows "doesn't hate or discriminate."
"I haven't had a chance to speak with Juan Pablo yet, but I know my friend," Case revealed. "He's a beautiful person and has a good heart."
"In this situation, you're dealing with someone who isn't used to being in the limelight and having their words picked apart," Case added. "His daughter is his world and he's very protective of her and I think, in trying to express that and his English being what it is, things got misconstrued."
But not all of Bachelor nation is supporting Galavis.
"Never missed a season of the bachelor & won't be watching this 1 can't get behind someone that thinks me having kids sets a bad example," Krisily Kennedy, a former Bachelor contestant tweeted. Kennedy is also bisexual.
Galavis issued an apology on his Facebook page on Saturday, saying his candid answer at a network party in Pasadena, Calif. was "taken out of context."
"I want to apologize to all the people I may have offended because of my comments on having a gay or bisexual Bachelor," the reality star wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday, Jan. 18. "If you listen to the entire interview, there's nothing but respect for gay people and their families. I have many gay friends and one of my closest friends who's like a brother has been a constant in my life especially during the past 5 months."
He also added that he misused the word "pervert" to describe gay couples and what he "meant to say was that gay people are more affectionate and intense and for a segment of the TV audience this would be too racy to accept."
Galavis told The TV Page that even though he respects gay couples he doesn't "think it is a good example for kids to watch that on TV."
"Obviously people have their husband and wife and kids and that is how we are brought up," Galavis said in an audio recording on Friday, Jan. 17. "Now there is fathers having kids and all that, and it is hard for me to understand that too in the sense of a household having peoples. Two parents sleeping in the same bed and the kid going into bed. It is confusing in a sense."
ABC and the show's producers issued a joint statement saying Galavis' comments were "careless, thoughtless and insensitive, and in no way reflect the views of the network, the show's producers or studio."