Bachelor in Paradise alum Serene Russell opened up about her split from ex-fiancé Brandon Jones for the first time — and confirmed the rumors that he cheated on her before their breakup.
Serene, 28, said that she found out about Brandon’s alleged infidelity via an Instagram direct message. A stranger tried contacting her first but then reached out to another Bachelor Nation member when Serene didn’t respond. That person then contacted Serene, who then read the original person’s message.
Serene Russell and Brandon Jones.Getty Images (2)
“After that, it was like, ‘There’s irreparable damage,’” Serene recalled during the Thursday, October 19, episode of Kaitlyn Bristowe’s “Off the Vine” podcast. “There was just no coming back.”
Fans began speculating that Brandon, 29, cheated on Serene earlier this year when a video circulated that seemed to show him getting cozy with another woman. The video was allegedly filmed days before Serene and Brandon publicly announced their split.
Serene went on to say that Brandon apologized to her, but the pair are not currently in contact. “We both had things we could have done better in the relationship,” she added. “It was something that we were both very much still in, and we had gone to therapy, which was really cool. … It’s not this simple thing, like, ‘Oh, it just didn’t work.’ We tried to give ourselves the tools and set ourselves up for success, but there were just ultimately so many things.”
Brandon Jones and Serene Russell.Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
The former couple got engaged during the season 8 finale of Bachelor in Paradise, which aired in November 2022. Less than one year later, the twosome announced their breakup.
“After many months, today we have ultimately decided to end our engagement,” the duo wrote in a joint statement shared via Instagram in May. “We have tried to work privately on our relationship which has been incredibly challenging in the public eye. This has been immensely hard to accept and painful, as there is a lot of love between the two of us. We are deeply hurting and can only ask that there be no hate. The best path for us at this time is to try and move forward and heal from this as individuals.”
Related: BiP’s Brandon Jones and Serene Russell’s Relationship Timeline
Bachelor Nation has been rooting for Brandon Jones and Serene Russell since the beginning of season 8 of Bachelor in Paradise. After hitting it off during a September 2022 episode, the duo quickly fell for each other. “Brandon, I have always yearned for a life-changing love, but I had never seen it or experienced it […]
Bristowe, 38, asked Russell why the tone of the breakup statement was so amicable when the pair’s split was caused in part by infidelity.
“I was just in shock, I think,” Russell replied before getting emotional. “I didn’t know what the future held. I was in shock for a really long time. … I’ve never felt that depressed in my life. It was hard to deal with.”