If you caught this week’s episode of The Bachelor, you probably noticed that one of the hometown dates was not quite like the others.
Basically, three of them consisted of the usual, boring family meet-and-greets, while one of them was an absolutely bonkers sh-tshow loaded with wild accusations of rampant promiscuity, and a family left sitting around the living room, wondering when they’d get their chance to meet “Pilot Pete.”
For months we had been hearing rumors that Victoria Fuller was known as a “homewrecker” in her native Virginia Beach, due to the fact that she had allegedly slept with several of her friends’ husbands.
That rumor was partially confirmed when an ex-girlfriend of Peter’s named Merissa Pence approached him as the date came to a close.
Merissa laid out her case against Victoria in vague but compelling language, informing Weber that Victoria’s promiscuous ways brought about the end of several relationships in her social circle.
(We’d like to reiterate what we’ve been saying all season, and remind everyone that if these allegations are true, the men in the relationships are more responsible for the breakups than Victoria … but we can still see why Peter wouldn’t be thrilled to hear about this behavior from his potential future wife,)
In the days since the episode aired, many viewers have called Merissa’s motivations into question, as the former pageant contestant admitted that she used to be friends with Victoria, and they recently had a falling out.
This week, Pence cleared the air in a conversation with Entertainment Tonight, claiming that her only goal in talking to her ex was to spare Peter some heartbreak:
“I still had my complications with Victoria, and I always tried to get along with her, but the last night that her and I hung out before she left for The Bachelor was awful,” she told the outlet.
“I went there with no intentions or knowing I was going to talk to Peter,” she says of her date-crash.
“I took it upon myself to call out his name and have a conversation with him.”
Merissa admits that she harbors ill-will toward Victoria, but insists that her actions were motivated by compassion for the women who were affected by Fuller’s actions.
“I just did this for the people who don’t have a voice,” Merissa told ET. “I feel like I have been that voice for them, and that’s kind of been my mindset on all of this.”
Asked if she has a final message for Peter, Merissa didn’t mince any words:
“You need to send her home,” she said.
“I just wanted him to end his relationship with Victoria. I kind of knew — when I found out she was going on the show — how this would play out,” she added.
“I was there to warn him and present facts if he asked, but I wasn’t there to slander her name or say bad words or call her names. I was not there for that. That’s not me, that’s not who I wanted to be portrayed as.”
Merissa says there were portions of her conversation with Peter that didn’t make it to air.
“But his reaction, I mean — he was definitely shocked. And he had asked me, ‘Why didn’t you tell me sooner?'” she recalled.
“And I said, ‘You don’t have a phone. How am I supposed to contact you? There was no way for me to get to you sooner,’” Merissa says. “I think he was definitely shocked.”
“He left our conversation definitely upset, but he gave me a hug after and told me that he trusted my word and would take it into consideration, which — at the end of the day — that’s really all I needed to hear,” she added.
From there, Merissa addressed reports that she’s hoping for a second chance with Peter herself:
“I wasn’t there to get Peter back or open up this new conversation,” she said.
“I just really wanted him to know her as a person and [say], ‘Please do not propose to her, because this is not going to work out for you.'”
From there, Merissa shared information that could be construed as a Bachelor spoiler, revealing that Victoria is back in Virginia Beach — and she’s not happy about it.
“We had a semi-confrontation at one of the local bars here a couple weekends after she got back from The Bachelor,” Merissa said, adding that Victoria yelled, “You’re a f–king loser!” from across the bar.
“Those words do not hurt me, and I was confident in what I did… I don’t take any offense to that,” Pence told ET.
“It is what it is, but I think that’s just her way of expressing that she’s upset, which is fine,” she added.
In the end, Pence stands by what she did, and she says her hopes for Peter are simple:
“I hope at the end of this show, he at least has found someone that is perfect for him. And if he didn’t, I know he will,” she concluded.
Sounds like there might be some more barroom confrontations in the very near future.
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