Clayton Echard Breaks His Silence Over Divisive Bachelor Breakup

It was the breakup felt 'round the world, and now The Bachelor's Clayton Echard is responding to criticism over the way things ended with Susie. Find out what he has to say.

By Daniel Trainor Mar 10, 2022 3:42 AMTags

Not all breakups are created equal.

Clayton Echard's dramatic dismissal of Susie Evans on the March 8 episode of The Bachelor sent Bachelor Nation into a state of fury, with most of the vitriol directed back at the Bachelor himself. 

If you need a primer on all the juicy, dramatic details of the breakup itself, read here. Basically, Susie didn't like that Clayton had told the two other remaining girls—Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia—that he loved them and slept with during their fantasy suite dates. Clayton defended himself and eventually sent Susie packing after some heated conversations.

Now, Clayton is taking ownership for his part in the debacle.

"I'm embarrassed. I knew that this moment was coming," he said on the March 9 episode of The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast"I'd kind of alluded to it in previous weeks. I'm not exactly shocked by the reactions online."

See, even The Bachelor reads the comment section!

"People are very much against me and favoring her," he said, "but I totally understand that. I totally get what I'm seeing."

Clayton defended his decision to sleep with all three women, arguing that sex is something he takes very seriously.

"[Sex] is such a critical part of a relationship," he said. "I cannot get engaged to somebody if there's no sexual chemistry. It's just me. Maybe that's not everybody else's. But for me, that's so incredible. If I'm going to get engaged, that has to be there."

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The harshest criticism for Clayton, though, centered around his final pointed conversation with Susie. As he told her in Iceland, "If you cared so much about me, if you really actually thought I was the person...I think you would work through something like this."

Many Bachelor fans accused Clayton of gaslighting, which he rebuked.

"It's tough because I've seen what everyone's saying and they're using some pretty descriptive terms," he said on the podcast. "Some pretty heavy-hitting terms that I couldn't disagree with more. But I understand that it appears that way. I don't agree that I was gaslighting because I looked that up, and it said gaslighting, the definition is to try and convince someone of a different reality than what is actually the true reality of the situation."

Well, at least he's got a dictionary. 

ABC/Craig Sjodin

In a move that probably won't win him any new fans, Clayton admitted he initially wondered if Susie wasn't just angling to be the next Bachelorette star.

"I started having these really dangerous thoughts of being like, 'What if Susie right now is just trying to get out of this?,;" he questioned. "What if she's just saying whatever she needs to say to leave me so that she can be the next Bachelorette?'"

He said he sees things more clearly after filming wrapped, however. 

"I don't believe that now," he said. "I didn't believe it the next day, but I believed it in that moment and because of that I allowed my emotions to take over."

Whether you're on Clayton's side or Susie's side, there's one clear-cut winner here: drama.

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