Setting the record straight. Bachelor star Clayton Echard is addressing those Shanae Ankney rumors once and for all — and no, he “never” thought about sleeping with the contestant.

“She’s gone now, and she didn’t go to fantasy suites,” the reality star, 29, said during an appearance on the Friday, March 4, episode of Barstool Sports’ “Chicks in the Office” podcast. “So, what does that say? I was never thinking about that. Never was, OK.”

Throughout season 26, “Chicks in the Office” host Maria Ciuffo, known to fans as Ria, made jokes online about Clayton and Shanae. She and the Bachelor star made headlines in January with one social media interaction in particular. “Don’t respond to this tweet if you banged Shanae,” Ria wrote at the time. He responded, “Spoiler alert,” with a kiss emoji.

Further discussing their back and forth on Friday’s podcast, Clayton said Ria’s Twitter posts were “funny,” noting that whether or not he “banged Shanae” was a “fair question.”

He added, “When you made those comments originally, and tweeting about it, I was like, ‘She’s clearly joking, right?’ Because I’m over here with the full story and I was like, that’s asinine.”

Clayton Echard Says He ‘Never’ Had Thoughts About Sleeping With Shanae Amid Rumors
ABC/John Fleenor

Fellow Barstool Sports employee Trent Ryan — otherwise known as Luggage Guy Trent — chimed in, saying, “You guys did make out a lot though.”

Clayton agreed, then added, “Listen, I don’t want to downplay kissing, but it’s kissing, alright.”

Throughout her time on the season, Shanae stirred up lots of drama when Clayton wasn’t around. The Bachelor star also received backlash from viewers for not sending Shanae home earlier after she and fellow former contestant Elizabeth Corrigan came to blows multiple times in the Bachelor Mansion. While one argument was mostly about shrimp, some fans claimed that Shanae made fun of Elizabeth for having ADHD. As Clayton has watched the season back, he has addressed the drama via Twitter and apologized to Elizabeth.

“I wish I could have seen what was happening when I wasn’t there. I obviously knew y’all weren’t in a good place with each other, but I thought at the same time that it was solely petty drama,” he wrote in a Twitter statement shared on February 1. “I would have sent Shanae home immediately for making fun of you for being neurodivergent, had I known.”

He continued, “Overall, the experience of me watching hasn’t been fun, simply because I am seeing all the damage that I caused. I really meant well, but my actions weren’t always the best, as I now can see the repercussions from my decisions.”

In a separate social media post, Clayton told followers that he was “looking forward” to an “open and honest discussion” at the Women Tell All special in order to “hold people accountable.”

The Bachelor Women Tell All special airs via ABC on Monday, March 7, at 8 p.m. ET.