'Bachelor' Star Clayton Echard Denies Gaslighting Susie Evans

Amid backlash that he faced, the leading man of the ABC dating show admits that while he isn't 'exactly shocked by the reactions online,' he's 'embarrassed.'

AceShowbiz - "The Bachelor" star Clayton Echard broke his silence about his fight with contestant Susie Evans in the latest episode of the show. Amid backlash that he faced after the episode aired, Clayton said in a new interview that while he wasn't "exactly shocked by the reactions online," he's "embarrassed."

"I'm embarrassed. I knew that this moment was coming," Clayton said in the Wednesday, 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."

He added, "People are very much against me and favoring her, but I totally understand that. I totally get what I'm seeing." Defending himself, he went on to say, "[Sex] is such a critical part of a relationship. 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."

Clayton also addressed the accusations that he gaslighted Susie when he told her, "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." Of the matter, he explained, "It's tough because I've seen what everyone's saying and they're using some pretty descriptive terms."

"Some pretty heavy-hitting terms that I couldn't disagree with more," he continued. "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."

He went on to share that he initially wondered if Susie wanted to be the next "The 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? What if she's just saying whatever she needs to say to leave me so that she can be the next Bachelorette?' " he questioned.

However, he doesn't "believe that now." He explained, "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."

In the March 8 episode, Clayton and Susie were involved in what seemed to be the ugliest fight in the series history. Susie confronted Clayton for sleeping with two other remaining girls, Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia, during their fantasy suites. Clayton eventually sent her home.

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