Since leaving The Bachelorette mid-season for vague work-related issues, Ed Swiderski has been subject to rumors that he was dishonest about his reasons for being on and leaving the show--rumors that should sound familiar to Bachelorette viewers this season, and can be summed up thusly: "girlfriend." After returning and proposing to an ecstatic Bachelorette, Swiderski is now facing blatant accusations from two women saying they dated Ed after he proposed, and that he's been lying to fiancee Jillian Harris for months now.
An anonymous source recently told RadarOnline that an engaged Swiderski sent his ex Bethany Steffan, 24, emails and texts that were "more than platonic" and "sexy." Accusations from Lindsay Johnson, 29, claim that Ed was photographed with her at a wedding the weekend after he left filming The Bachelorette mid-season. Whether Swiderski attended the event as Johnson's date is unclear, but the accusation seems clear that this rendezvous, too, was "more than platonic."
Jillian and Ed took to the airwaves this morning to rebuke the infidelity rumors.
"It's actually not true at all," Ed told Good Morning America. "I think that Jillian and I have been the target of being one of the very few successful couples on the show, and I think that we're clearly being targeted because we're happy. Jillian and I have been completely honest and upfront about all of my recent relationships and there's just no truth to it."
Swiderski wouldn't go into details, but said the accusations were inaccurate--accusations that have escalated of late, including Johnson's claims that Ed texted her while filming The Bachelorette to say that Jillian wasn't his "type," and to tell her that he loved her. Whether Swiderski's hesitance to discuss details is a sign of tact or dishonesty is certainly up for debate, but he had one vocal defender on his side this morning.
Jillian attested to her fiance's honesty and fidelity, saying "As Ed said, he has been very, very clear with me from the very beginning. He has been open and honest with me. I personally don't have time in my normal, regular life--that I'm getting back to--to entertain all of this. This is nonsense. I feel like I'm in high school. All of this stuff is totally inaccurate. And it's unfortunate."
The happily-engaged Bachelorette went on, "I think that these women are very hurt and they did love Ed. And I can understand where they're coming from. And it must be very painful. But that was in the past... Ed is not deceiving me. Ed is not pulling the wool over my eyes. And lastly, if there was problems on the homefront or if there was an issue, I am not going to deal with it in this manner, with tabloids and rumors. I have learned from various seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette that I am not addressing anything in the media. And I am also going to say for anybody out there who does care about this--I don't know why because there are so many things in the world to care about--that this is the last time I am talking about this. It's a waste of all of our time. Ed and I can't understand where any of this is coming from, and I'm not talking about this ever again after today."
Harris and Swiderski claimed they're "completely in love" and the engagement is still on.
US Weekly spoke with both Steffan and Johnson, even obtaining photos of them with Swiderski, and both women remain firm in their claims. Steffan said, "Lindsey and I are both smart girls, and Ed just has this way of making people believe what he wants. Jillian needs to be careful."
I doubt we'll hear more about these claims in the future, as everyone involved, especially the "happy couple," are intent on moving on. But for those of us watching from the sidelines, there's certainly one big lesson to take away: don't date a guy who's going on a reality show about looking for love!