Over two years on from their appearance on the dating show, which ended with plenty of tears and broken hearts, the trio found themselves reunited on Channel Ten’s new reality series The Challenge Australia.
While viewers didn’t get to see much of their highly-anticipated reunion on TV, Jessica has now opened up to Yahoo Lifestyle about what it was really like living in a house with both her ex and the woman he left her for.
The 33-year-old tattoo artist explains that she knew she would be competing against Ciarran on the show because she had asked production for a “heads up”, and they actually had a close friendship during filming.
“When Ciarran had the shower with Audrey [Kanongora], there was a total shift in the house dynamic and he was very sad, so I sat with him,” she shares. “I taught him how to meditate and we talked about sobriety and we talked about journalling and I kind of sat with him and consoled him a lot of the time.”
However, their camaraderie quickly fizzled in the outside world because of “a few reasons”, Jessica claims.
“I know he suspects that when I was eliminated I went and told his girlfriend Ruby what happened in the house, which is not true. I would never do that,” she asserts.
“And then on top of that there was a situation before we started filming where somebody said to me, ‘How do you feel about seeing Ciarran?' and I said in jest, ‘Look if I have to befriend him and then screw him over, I will’. And somebody passed that on to Ciarran. Fair enough I said it, but I think he's taken that and run with it.
“I'd like to think that after three years of knowing me that he would know implicitly that that's not my character, and that I wouldn't sit there and help him meditate and do all these things if I was going to turn around and do that. At the end of the day, I know that didn't happen and I think that he is looking for a scapegoat for his guilt, and if I have to be that then that’s what it is and we don’t have to have a friendship moving forward.”
‘Maybe go to therapy, bestie’
While Jessica adds it’s “disappointing” for their friendship to be thrown away after they spent so much time together in the house, she’s glad that she was able to have a conversation with Ciarran about the pain he caused her on Bachelor in Paradise.
“We spoke a lot about how he treated me and how he treated Kiki and how that made us feel, and he admitted that he has narcissistic tendencies and they are things that he's got to work on,” she details.
“I think I'm just disappointed because I’ve always tried to speak highly of him regardless of how much damage he’s done to me and how much pain he’s caused so many women, and continues to do so. I just don't see him taking proper responsibility. It’s just damage control every time a show comes out, and then he wants to keep doing shows! Maybe go to therapy, bestie.
“I really, really hope that he gets the help that he needs and I'm happy that he's still with Ruby, and I hope that she is not in too much pain as well because she seems like a beautiful girl. And I think if he gets the help, he can be a great guy.”
As for her relationship with Kiki, Jessica reveals that they had caught up a couple of times in between filming Bachelor in Paradise and The Challenge but it was difficult being pitted against each other.
“I do sometimes feel jealousy towards Kiki because she's beautiful, she’s strong, she’s talented, she’s got a lot to offer,” she admits. “And so I did notice myself getting a bit catty with her at times and that's something that I don't like about myself.
“It was interesting seeing those emotions come to the forefront in that environment because they're not your normal everyday emotions that you feel in those types of situations, they're all greatly exaggerated.”
Jessica and Konrad’s newfound friendship
Since filming, Jessica says she has a great relationship with most of the cast and she’s currently living with Konrad Bien-Stephen.
“We didn’t really get along in the house but we've become really good friends since filming,” she explains.
Although Jessica used to be close friends with Konrad’s ex-girlfriend Abbie Chatfield - even getting a tattoo of her name and I’m A Celebrity SMS code on her body last year - she asserts that there is no drama between them and her relationship with Konrad is “completely platonic”.
“That friendship is still there, I still have a lot of love for Abbie, but we’re just not as close as we used to be,” she says. “We just sort of drifted apart when she got together with Konrad, which was about a year ago.
“The only reason I'm living with Konrad is because my living situation just got a bit tricky, and he has really, really helped me out. He's been a really amazing friend. He goes on dates and stuff and I gas him up and tell him he looks great. It’s a completely platonic relationship and there's absolutely nothing romantic there.”
The Challenge Australia airs 7:30pm Monday and Tuesday on Channel 10 and 10 Play
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