Another Bachelor/Bachelorette romance could be on the rocks? Color us shocked. But one that might involve bribery and a coverup? Now we’re listening. According to this week’s Us Weekly cover story, former Bachelorette Emily Maynard is paying fiancé Jef Holm half of her salary from the show to keep mum about an inappropriate relationship that tore the couple to shreds.
Holm, who proposed to Maynard on the show’s July finale, confronted her after she was caught texting another man in August. The story made headlines at the time, followed by a swift dismissal from both parties. However, the Us Weekly story sheds light on those alleged texts and tells how Maynard confessed her indiscretion. But instead of an emtional reaction, Holm reacted strategically:
“Emily told him ‘I’m so sorry’ and he said, ‘Well, we have two options: The first is I can go to the media and tell them the truth and let everyone know what you’re really like. Or two, I will deny the whole thing and you give me half the money you made from The Bachelorette.’”
If the story is true, Maynard got both short ends of the stick in the end. An ex-girlfriend of Holm leaked the story to Us Weekly, which ran a multi-page spread on the other man — rumored to be none other than Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Leinart — as well as the couple’s deal to play nice for the press, and a profile of the ex-girlfriend source herself, college student Kaylee Shepherd.
Regardless of the veracity of these claims, it’s all rather unsavory for what’s already a morally corrupt television franchise. And Maynard hasn’t exactly held honesty in the highest regard throughout her tenure on the ABC shows: she’s the mother of a six-year-old daughter that she took pains to hide during her two series appearances.
Despite the gravity of the bribery claims, Maynard and Holm have appeared in public, seemingly happy, to deny claims of any wrongdoing. “We just try to laugh about it and not read it,” Maynard told E! News at the San Diego Film Festival on Wednesday night. “I trust him, he trusts me, and that’s really the bottom line. E! News corroborated her story with a strong denial from a friend of the couple.
“Everything is absolutely fine between them. They are a great couple and the wedding is definitely on,” the source told E! News. “They are being smart about everything. He adores Emily, and is very involved in Ricki’s life. They are happy. There are no problems between them.”
The source added that Holm isn’t seeking to pad his bank account from Maynard’s alleged indiscretions: “His family has so much money. It’s ludicrous to suggest that he would be making some sort of money deal with Emily.”
Whether or not the story is true, the odds aren’t good for the pair in the long run. Maynard and Holm are one of three lasting couples out of eight Bachelorette seasons. Only one Bachelor couple out of 16 seasons remains together, not counting Jason and Molly Mesnick.