“The Bachelorette” contestant Nate Mitchell admitted to keeping his daughter a secret from an ex-girlfriend in order to “protect” his child.
“I went through a pretty traumatizing time when I went through a divorce, and essentially the foundation that was built around my daughter pretty much crumbled,” the reality star, 33, said during the “Men Tell All” episode Monday.
“And the one thing that I protect most on this Earth is my daughter. Like, I would never bring her into a situation that I feel is dangerous, a situation that I feel is unstable.”
Mitchell added that the “instability” of his dating life made him “put a wall up” when it came to his daughter.
However, “Bachelorette” host Jesse Palmer pointed out that there was another allegation the Chicago native needed to address: that he had cheated on two women.
“I would say I am deeply sorry for the way that I acted,” Mitchell said in response to those claims. “I should have been more communicative. I should have been more clear in my intentions.”
He then told the audience, “I pray that you forgive the man that I was because I’m not the same person.”
While Mitchell was still on the show, the ex who accused him of cheating, a woman named Kelsey Fankhauser, spoke to “Bachelor” franchise spoiler king Reality Steve about her experience dating the Season 19 contestant.
She told the blogger that she dated Mitchell from 2020 to 2021 and during that time had found direct messages that led her to believe he had been unfaithful to another woman named Laree Starke.
“I wish Nate all the best,” Fankhauser said. “I don’t want to affect his future, but it’s important for me to try and prevent another girl from being blindsided by his secrecies.”
She claimed in a TikTok video posted in July, “I cried for a guy who kept his kid a secret from me for 1.5 years when we were dating and I found out on reality TV.”
Meanwhile, Mitchell had been telling “Bachelorette” Gabby Windey on the show that his daughter was his “world,” gloating, “A pocket of my heart just burst open for the first time when she said, ‘Dad’ [and] the first time she told me she loved me.”
He was eliminated in week 6 over Windey’s fears that she would not be ready to take on the role of stepmom.
In Monday night’s episode, Palmer told Mitchell that there may be people who “second-guess” what he said to Windey, 31, and his feelings for her.
“Every moment and emotion that I had with Gabby was real,” Mitchell said in response. “We both felt it. We experienced it. In past relationships, I can’t always say we had the commitment of boyfriend-and-girlfriend, but with this, I committed to Gabby as her boyfriend, and I walked into it with that lens.”