After a two-night Bachelor In Paradise premiere that featured Caelynn Miller-Keyes expressing anger with Blake Horstmann for how he treated her, Horstmann revealed text conversations to try to clear his name. Horstmann has been bombarded with attacks on social media, and although he's owned up to making mistakes, he claims innocence in response to Miller-Keyes' accusations that he led her on in any way.
The sixth season of Bachelor in Paradise began in earnest at Stagecoach Music Festival in April, specifically the night Horstmann and Miller-Keyes slept together. It set the stage for much of the backlash Horstmann, as well as Miller-Keyes, have faced since the season began airing. Horstmann had slept with Kristina Schulman the night before and has also shown interest in Tayshia Adams and Hannah Godwin. Prior to Paradise, Horstmann was widely beloved by a fanbase that was hoping Becca Kufrin would choose him on her season of The Bachelorette. During Miller-Keyes' run on Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor, she endured early drama with future Bachelorette Hannah Brown, and then later in the show was involved in a spat with other women who claimed that she had talked off-camera about wanting to be the Bachelorette while still vying for Underwood's love. Miller-Keyes claimed she was misunderstood.
Horstmann released text messages on his Instagram story (via: Us Weekly) between himself and Miller-Keyes that were exchanged both during Stagecoach and a week before Bachelor In Paradise began filming, explaining that his fling with Miller-Keyes before Paradise was just that and nothing more. He posted on Instagram, "I understand that I will probably get a lot of backlash for posting these personal text messages," but after the texts were exposed, Horstmann opted to take them down and wrote, "I never wanted Caelynn to get attacked like this. Please stop attacking her."
One of Horstmann's screenshots showed him messaging Miller-Keyes at Stagecoach, saying, "We can cuddle but no sex lol" and Miller-Keyes responding, "Yes sex" and then, "Only sex". When Horstmann and Miller-Keyes were texting one week before the show, according to Horstmann's records, she wrote, "If we play it off as not being a big deal then it's not". Once the two showed up on Paradise, Miller-Keyes' frustration that Horstmann was involving himself with other women clearly told a different story.
Both main characters in this ordeal have taken their fair share of criticism after only two nights of Bachelor In Paradise. It's a sign of the evolution of the show, for better or for worse, in which much of the cast has already coupled up or at least had a past before flying to Mexico. Whereas in early seasons, the first few weeks would slowly move along as relationships developed, this season wasted no time diving into action and emotions. Because most of the contestants have a past, it's difficult for the audience to truly know the full story behind each relationship.
In revealing the texts, Horstmann tried his best to piece the puzzle together for the social media mob searching for answers. But with a viewership desperate to sort the characters on the show as either protagonists or antagonists, Horstmann's move may have backfired. Now, he and Miller-Keyes are under the magnifying glass and it may take a miracle for them to both come out of this looking like the heroes of the story.
Bachelor In Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm EST on ABC.