Jenna Cooper and Jordan Kimball from the 2018 season of Bachelor in Paradise were seemingly the perfect couple. In between afternoons spent sunbathing and sipping apéritifs, they practiced making sexy faces and argued over what to name their hypothetical eight children. Their love was almost too good to be true: Jordan overcame his villain edit from the previous season of The Bachelorette to win America’s heart by swooning over Jenna after she escaped from a dull season of The Bachelor. Een though they seemed like the one Bachelor couple to rule them all, their relationship quickly fell apart in a sea of scandals once Paradise wrapped.
Bachelor Nation thought Jordan and Jenna were going to go the distance, but after Jordan popped the question, trouble brewed in the form of secret text messages. The text messages revealed a Bachelor in Paradise scandal, and a romcon for the ages. Jenna's alleged scam quickly devolved into a "he said, she said" that sunk Bachelor Nation into an existential quagmire, causing everyone to wonder if love truly exists, or if the final rose is beyond everyone's grasp. Follow along for a timeline of Jenna's rumored Bachelor in Paradise scam, and maybe grab a box of tissues while you're at it.
On September 11, 2018, shortly after the finale of Bachelor in Paradise aired - in which Jordan proposed to Jenna - reality television blogger Reality Steve published screenshots allegedly taken from a conversation between Jenna and a man claiming to be her lover. Jenna had supposedly started the relationship prior to her appearance on Bachelor in Paradise and maintained it throughout her tryst with Jordan. The messages claimed Jenna was using Jordan and the Bachelor brand as a way to get business off the ground, although it's unclear exactly what her business is.
The most damning message from Jenna reads:
You know how much I need the money. Me and Jordan aren't together for real. I don't even like him let alone love him. I'm better than him and once I'm able to break it off for good I'll make up some story to make him look bad if it'll make you feel better. He means nothing to me and never has.
After Jenna's texts were splashed across the internet, she reached out to her BiP fiancé to let him know that something might be afoot. Jordan admitted he'd seen some stink on Twitter but didn't think anything about it until Jenna called him. He explained:
Jenna called me and said she was very anxious about this Twitter post. I talked to her in the middle of the night last night - I said don't hype yourself up, don't worry, you have nothing to worry about. I tried to calm her. I went back to bed for a few hours, woke up, had my coffee and she called me again and said she was anxious and felt sick to her stomach.
It didn't take long for Jordan to call off his engagement to Jenna. A day after the messages went public, Jordan posted sadly on Instagram, "To think, to feel, to fall. These emotions interact with experiences and people, when you find a person you think about them, you feel when they feel and sometimes you fall." He closed by saying, "I'll be taking time to pursue inner peace."
Because no one wants to be the villain of their own story, Jenna responded to Jordan's Instagram post with a post of her own, claiming she didn't send the texts in question, and that she wanted to work on her relationship with her estranged beau. She said that the texts "were completely fabricated" and that she had been totally faithful to Jordan.
Despite her claims, no one publicly came to Jenna's defense.