Longtime Bachelor franchise personality Jenna Cooper is going to bat over leaked text messages in which she allegedly claims everything about her stint on Bachelor in Paradise, including her feelings for ex-fiancé Jordan Kimball, was all fabricated for the cameras. The messages, which were apparently sent to a man Cooper had been “intimate” with before, during, and after Bachelor in Paradise, were leaked by gossip blogger Reality Steve on the eve of the show’s season finale — the same night Cooper and Kimball got engaged on national television.
Since their release, Cooper has denied the texts were hers, calling them “fraud.” For his part, Kimball said he was shocked at the revelation, telling People that uncovering the news “felt like a body drop.” Vulture reports Kimball has since broken off the engagement (the couple was planning a Mexico beach wedding in June), and Cooper is now doubling down on her defense.
In an Instagram post on Friday, Cooper demanded that Reality Steve — real name Stephen Carbone — submit the texts for forensic testing to prove her innocence.
“Through his lawyer, Stephen Carbone said, ‘Regardless, whether the information provided to Mr. Carbone was actually true is not the relevant inquiry.’ Apparently, Stephen Carbone is not interested in showing you the truth, just drumming up what he called in his words, a ‘s$%! storm,’” Cooper wrote. “I challenge Stephen Carbone to provide the text files he posted to his ‘blog’ to all of us. He WILL NOT because he doesn’t want you to know that the texts were not from me — it would kill his story.”
Carbone took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon in response to Cooper’s statement. He said his lawyers have already been in correspondence with hers and called her attempts to force legal action against him “silly.”
“If I were Jenna, I’d tread very carefully going forward because she would be opening herself up to a lot of her personal life being made public, and that’s probably not something she wants getting out there. I know if I were her, I wouldn’t,” he wrote.
Kimball appears to have excused himself from the narrative, although he went on Reality Steve’s podcast a few days after the news broke to say that he has “forgiven” Cooper for having “played” him.
Kimball’s latest Instagram post, which fans are interpreting as a final say on the matter, reads, “All we can do is get better every day, all we can expect is that what we go through daily is shaping us for what we are meant to handle in the future.”