The Bachelorette was filmed a little while ago, but recent news makes watching it back sort of difficult — at least when it comes to Jed. The Nashville musician was really honest with Hannah on their previous one-on-one. Jed admitted his Bachelorette time was originally meant to boost his music career. It was only after meeting Hannah and spending time with her that he realized he was falling for her and staying on the show for her alone — or so he said.
But now, everything feels different, especially when Jed started singing his original songs to Hannah on the June 24 episode of The Bachelorette. That's because there's a pesky rumor going around that Jed had a girlfriend when he went on The Bachelorette. Even worse? Jed's supposed ex-girlfriend Hayley Stevens has given several interviews, including on to Refinery29, since the rumor broke. She's made her claim that she and Jed were still dating when he went on the show very, very clear. (Jed, for his part, has not responded to her story.)
Per her interview with Refinery29, she never wanted the story to come out in the first place:
"All of this started because I fell in love with a person who felt like [going on the show] was the best thing for their career, a career that I also pursue. So coming from that perspective, when someone that you love thinks it's the best move for their career, you support them. I just started having [news outlets] reaching out to me, basically hinting at, 'We're going to tell the story with or without you.' If I don't say something, then whatever comes out could be true, could not be true, can paint me in any light, and can tell whatever story.
We've all seen the episodes where the crazy, disgruntled ex-girlfriend comes out. I know how that gets painted. I prepared myself that this might have a negative impact on me or people might hate me. I was specific even in speaking to them in the first place [that] I don't want this to be a negative message. It doesn't feel good to feel like I'm hurting other people by telling the story."
Before that, Stevens recently claimed in a People article that she was dating Jed for four months when he left to go on the show. "He told me [early on] that he had applied,” Stevens said. "He said, 'It's probably not going to happen, but it's a huge opportunity. I'm only doing this for my music.' He only did it for his career." Stevens further claimed that Jed told her he'd just be acting on the show, but that he would come home to Stevens in the end. She says Jed ghosted her when filming ended.
So, yes, technically Jed admitted to Hannah that he initially signed up for the show for the exposure. At the time, it was refreshing to hear someone be honest about that. So many people do go on this show for the traveling, friendships, experiences, and potential for fame. It comes with the reality TV territory — Jed was just brave enough to admit it. But now that this supposed girlfriend story is out, with a very real woman giving very real interviews all over the internet, that speech might require another look. Especially since Hannah was so upset by another contestant, Scott, allegedly having a girlfriend prior to filming. She sent Scott packing for that reason alone. The idea that Hannah may not know about Jed's alleged girlfriend is hard to swallow. She seems so smitten with Jed and his honesty.
In the June 24 episode, Jed serenaded Hannah outside her bedroom window. It was a move that Hannah called romance novel-worthy. She seemed to love listening to the two songs he sung her — one that even included the line, "I'll never tell a lie." Hannah seemingly hasn't directly asked Luke if he has a girlfriend, so if the story that won't quit is true, he technically hasn't outright lied to Hannah. But whatever the true story, the allegations from Stevens complicate the viewers' experience with Jed.
After he sang to her, Jed told Hannah that he was falling in love with her and that he "really truly mean[t]" it. But he also played two of his original songs for her on this national television platform (plus the one he sang during the premiere and the one he sang for the guys that played during the episode's credits) and already admitted that he was once in this for fame alone. Whether his feelings for Hannah did really spring up along the way or not, it's going to be hard to watch the rest of his love journey anyway.