by Zach Johnson | Wed., Sep. 12, 2018 5:10 AM
With Bachelor in Paradise, the drama never ends.
Jenna Cooper got engaged to Jordan Kimball at the end of the show's fifth season—but hours before the episode aired, rumors circulated that she had cheated on him after filming ended. Cooper, however, dismissed the claims in a statement Tuesday night. "I am aware of the allegations being made against me and they are simply untrue. I am choosing to focus on my relationship right now," Cooper told People. "Thank you for respecting my privacy at this time."
Reality Steve published screenshots earlier in the day, which purported to show Cooper had been corresponding with an unidentified man, via text, about the nature of her relationship with Kimball. In addition to sending explicit messages, she allegedly wrote, "Me and Jordan aren't together for real. I don't even like him let alone love him. I'm better than him and once I'm able to I'll break it off for good and make up some story to make him look bad if it'll make you feel better. He means nothing to me and never has." E! News has not authenticated the text messages, which Reality Steve claimed match Cooper's phone number. When E! News spoke to the newly engaged couple at the reunion taping last month, they revealed they had already set a June 9, 2019 wedding date for next summer. The couple also talked baby names, with Cooper saying, "There's a consensus: The names that I picked are going to be the names."
It's unclear whether the shock of Cooper's alleged affair will affect those plans.
E! News has reached out to the couple's reps for comment.
Kimball told People it "felt like a body drop" when he heard about the cheating rumors. "I got taken down," the model said. "I'm weak in the knees and I feel like I have rocks in my stomach." He had heard whispers about it via Twitter Monday, "that somebody was going to be roasted the next night." Cooper called him "and said she was very anxious about this Twitter post," he said. After repeatedly trying to calm her down, a few co-stars began to call him. "I started getting screenshots sent to me. I didn't know what to think," Kimball said. "I sank in my seat."
Kimball said he spoke to Cooper, but he doesn't believe her. "I know my Jenna, and I read those texts and in my heart, I know it's her," he said. "She was saying she didn't do it, but hinting towards the fact that there's a possibility that it happened. In all reality, I don't expect her to own it." Kimball added he feels "sick" about it and "never would have expected" this from her.
"If this whole thing sticks, and it's true, I will be hurt much more than the depths of romance," says Kimball, who had been planning an engagement party. "I will be hurt as a person and as a friend. There are so many layers to a relationship and right now I feel all of them peeling back."
Kimball added that there is no question his feelings for Cooper were real, despite whatever she may or may not have felt for him. "This was not a TV romance. This was real. And whether you like me or not, I deserve love. I found it, and this is what happened. So, for the sake of anyone who's ever been in love, be understanding." As for whether they'll work things out, Kimball said, "I don't know how to handle this...This is embarrassing and it hurts my pride. And our friendship is just tarnished. I don't even know what piece to pick up or how to put it back."
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