“We like the same girls, man. I didn’t know Dean until obviously, like, 2018, but Gabby was a good friend of one of my very good friends from college, they were roommates,” the Bachelorette season 14 runner-up said on his “Behind the Rose” podcast at the time. “I met Gabby long before I was on The Bachelorette, like, I want to say maybe 2015 or 2016. We hung out for a little bit, so I know her very well. And Dean, I don’t know how it came up, but one time, me and Dean were sitting there — I think we were in Buffalo, and he mentioned Gabby — and I was like, ‘How do you know Gabby?’ And he was like, ‘Dude, she was, like, my girl in college, you know, we were in love and blah blah.’”
Blake, who hooked up with Dean’s girlfriend, Caelynn Miller-Keyes, before they all appeared on Bachelor in Paradise season 6 in 2019, noted at the time that he dated Gabby “for a couple months.”
“She’s fun. She has a very outgoing personality, very loud, like, when she walks into a room, you know she’s in a room,” he added. “You never know if the lead is going to be into something like that. You never know if they like the more shy, quiet type or they like the loud, outgoing type, but she’s definitely very loud, very outgoing, she has a lot of friends. So if Clayton’s into that, I see her getting hometowns, for sure. She’s a beautiful woman. … They’re gonna have the football player, cheerleader story line.”
Dean, for his part, didn’t name names when discussing his ex on his “Help! I Suck at Dating!” podcast in October.
“She was, like, one of the main exes. She was my girlfriend from college,” he said. “Producers called me and were like, ‘Hey, we’re thinking of casting this person — what do you think of her? We know that you dated 10 years ago.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, she’s great. If she gets selected for the show, she’ll either win the show or she’ll be the next Bachelorette.’ And I firmly believe that.”
Gabby, for her part, has yet to publicly acknowledge her Bachelor Nation past. According to her ABC bio, she’s “much more than meets the eye. Not only is she beautiful, but she also has a lot of substance, emotional depth and a wealth of lived experiences” and is “hoping to find a man who will love her for the independent woman she is.”
Clayton’s season of The Bachelor premieres on ABC Monday, January 3, at 8 p.m. ET.