Off-screen romance! Brendan Morais came under fire on Bachelor in Paradise for his pre-show relationship with Pieper James. Once she arrived to the beach in Mexico, a lot of surprising details came to light about the couple. Are Brendan and Pieper still together? See inside their drama-inducing romance below.
Brendan, 31, and Pieper, 24, are still dating following their stint in Mexico. “We’re working through things,” she confirmed to Us Weekly on September 9. “This obviously isn’t something that’s super healthy for a relationship either, so it kind of is what it is. Every day, [we’re] taking it day by day.”
The pair haven’t exactly kept their romance under wraps since filming. A photo taken by a fan and posted by Reality Steve on August 22 showed the Bachelor Nation pair together outside of a hotel in Miami. The gossip outlet noted they had “been seen quite a few times together” over the past few months.
In addition, when their drama began heating up on BiP, the duo seemingly coordinated their response posts. “Here for the wrong reasons,” Brendan wrote with a wink face emoji via Instagram on September 6.
Brendan has since taken down the post and released a public apology via Instagram. “Most importantly, I apologize to you, Natasha. I hurt you. I am deeply sorry for doing so,” he wrote in September. “I understand that the damage is already done and all I can do going forward is acknowledge the error of my ways.
At the same time, Pieper shared her own message. “All’s fair in love and war,” she captioned two photos of herself in Boston, where Brendan resides, with a wink face emoji. Pieper also publicly apologized in a statement to Us Weekly.
“I didn’t go into Paradise with the intention of hurting anyone, nor would I ever want to be the reason why someone had a bad experience. I went in excited to see a guy that I had connected with and liked before the show started filming and was looking forward to seeing if that connection would grow into something more,” she said in part.
The Massachusetts native was criticized by the other contestants during week 2 of the reality dating show on August 23 for his prior romance with Pieper. The pair were first photographed together outside of a bar in New York City in April 2021.
Although he and the Texas native, 26, had a blast riding jet skis and making out, he told her he wanted to “talk to other people, go on other dates and see if our paths cross again along this journey.”
Demi felt a bit confused by his rejection until she returned from her date and the other cast members said they thought he was “holding out” for Pieper’s arrival.
Brendan denied the accusations. “Pieper and I, we’ve hung out. We spent some time together. We’ve communicated. We’ve enjoyed each other’s company. And that’s that … There’s no relationship,” he told Demi after being confronted.
The roofer claimed he only “met” her “a month and a half ago.” Season 7 began filming in June and wrapped three weeks later.
The former Bachelorette contestant maintained his single status while speaking with Natasha, 33, about where he stood with Pieper.
“I think she’s cool, and we’ve talked a little bit and hung out a little bit. We don’t have any labels on anything. I don’t know if she’s going to be here or not,” he said. “My relationship with Pieper’s just been super casual. I’ve had deeper conversations with you than I had with Pieper.”
Brendan said he had “the strongest connection” with Natasha and wanted to continue their relationship in Paradise.
However, things came to a head when Pieper arrived in Mexico on September 6’s episode. She and Brendan went on a date, where it was revealed they were in fact an item before BiP. At first, Pieper thought he had “downplayed” their relationship to the other contestants but then thanked him for “playing the game” until she arrived.
Naturally, Natasha was crushed to find out she had been lied to. The drama continued brewing among the cast as people accused Brendan and Pieper of coming on the reality dating show for money and clout.
Some fans questioned the love triangle, even accusing the contestants of staging the whole thing. Natasha and Pieper were photographed together getting their nails done in New York City prior to filming. In addition, Pieper was a guest on Natasha’s “Click Bait” podcast with Joe Amabile and Tayshia Adams in March.
Time will tell what drama happens next! If you can’t wait, see season 7 spoilers here.