Steve Carbone, best known as Reality Steve, is setting some boundaries with Bachelor Nation stars, following recent "eye opening" complaints about his behavior from former contestants.
On Thursday, April 29, the blogger issued a statement along with his podcast to share how he's "moving forward" from the drama.
"Going forward, I'm not gonna have any sort of personal relationship with these contestants," he vowed. "Because even the times I've tried to speak to them in a 'looking out for you' way, helping them maybe avoid disaster, etc, it backfires more often than not. I need to draw clearer lines that these are people I'm reporting on not people I have relationships/friendships with."
Steve, 45, went on to say that he's now aware of the "power dynamic" that exists between the reality stars and himself, as a reporter. He has realized that the dynamic "prevents any REAL social relationship from happening" and "prevents genuine behavior, meaning, I can't be sure if someone actually WANTS to talk to me or not."
According to Steve, "I've learned that my intent doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is how people felt in the aftermath and what they took away from it."
In his letter, he issued another apology to Bachelor Nation's Demi Burnett and Kristina Schulman for his self-described "cringey" behavior. As he wrote, "I take all of this very seriously. I am listening. I want to do better and I'm a guy that wants to do things right."
ICYMI: Demi called out Steve for allegedly making an "unwanted and unprompted sexual advance" toward her, as she said he phoned her last summer to tell her about his "graphic sex dream" about her.
Last week, Steve apologized on Twitter. "I had no idea at the time that conversation made you feel that way," he began. "I am apologizing now knowing how uncomfortable I made you feel. I crossed boundaries I didn't think at the time I was crossing. I did not know this until today. So for that, I hope you can accept my apology."
In his new note, Steve admitted he botched his initial apology, saying, "I should've taken longer to process." He said the tweet was "rushed, not well written, and interpreted poorly," as well as "Wrong. Just wrong."
He explained his thought process at the time, saying, "I was totally caught off guard, and I wanted to respond quickly so I didn't look like I was trying to duck responsibility or not care about her feelings... Had I taken a moment, I could've said I need to respond simply to her feelings, put mine to the side, this is not about me, this about her. I totally get that."
Steve then described his relationship with Demi from his perspective, calling her an "acquaintance" that he had been speaking to for less than a month at the time of the incident. The Bachelor alum had found love on the sixth season of Paradise the year prior, in 2019.
"I don't know her deeply, she doesn't know me deeply. Which makes the conversation I had with her all the more cringey. 100%," he wrote. "But, I'm not someone who wants to make a girl, or anyone, feel uncomfortable."
He then tried to explain why he felt it was appropriate to share his sex dream with his acquaintance.
"At the time the Demi situation happened, I was in a relationship. I also don't have a track record of cheating on partners, going behind peoples back, etc.," he wrote. "The conversation with Demi, however cringey, was not an attempt to get her in bed. It was not an attempt to sexually manipulate her. It was me having a 'hey that's crazy' conversation with someone who a couple weeks earlier said on her podcast she thought I hated her."
He ended his thoughts about the situation by confessing he's "very glad she finally confronted me," because he now wants to learn from the experience—"not only about individual interactions with females, but also this power dynamic that she brought to light. I don't want to operate that way." He added, "And to my knowledge, I have never tried to wield any power over someone to manipulate them."
In another section of his statement, Steve addressed criticism he received from Kristina, who was a contestant on Nick Viall's season of The Bachelor.
After Demi expressed her thoughts, Kristina took to her Instagram Story to describe her relationship with Reality Steve. Per Heavy, she revealed, "Throughout my time on the shows, I would receive messages from [Reality Steve] stating his disapproval of the guys I was dating. He would send me negative messages about them (which left me no room to get to know them on my own). He would send me detailed stories about them from another source, stories that I had no business of knowing."
The Bachelor in Paradise alum wrote, "I will leave you with this: it's okay to be wanting updates and tea... but try to find a more reliable source. One that is not degrading to every contestant who graces your TV screen."
On April 29, Steve said Kristina's claims are a "perfect example" of why he is promising to no longer have personal relationships with the contestants.
"Due the sensitive nature of what I spoke about with her, I will refrain from commenting any further on what she said," he noted. "I reached out to her as well after seeing this and personally apologized for how I made her feel."
As he attempts to move on, Steve said he has been working with a "professional" for a long time and is in "an ongoing process of moving away from who I once was." He acknowledged he is a private person and recognizes he is not the victim in this scenario.
"It has kept me up at night," he said. "I've tried to show an open mind, and a willingness to have this conversation to hear people's sides and people I've interacted with. That's the most that I can do, which is to try to say that I want to learn from my past mistakes."
The media personality feels he has been "actively trying to offer [the women] an additional level of closure" by personally apologizing in private as well as publicly.
"I've reached out to let them know I've heard them, their feelings are valid, and I'm actively trying to take their experiences and learn from them," he added, "I'm going to have a better understanding now of the boundaries of not only women from this franchise, but in general. I want to use this as a learning experience and be better moving forward. There is no other choice."
Demi and Kristina do not appear to have publicly addressed his latest apology.