"Yes and no," Harrison responded when asked whether he was surprised to learn the two had called off their engagement. "I mean, I'm in very close contact with Kaitlyn, she's a very good friend of mine. I usually stay in touch with those who are the Bachelor [and] Bachelorette."
He continued, "I knew that they were struggling privately, and I knew they were really trying to work it out. So, I was kind of like a counselor off-air, talking to her and trying to help them, because they were really fighting for it, really trying to make it work."
In the end, however, the longtime ABC host explained the two "eventually just had to come to the inevitable conclusion that it's not going to work and go their separate ways."
Bristowe and Booth first met and got engaged on season 11 of The Bachelorette in 2015, and had been engaged for three years before they announced in a statement to Us Weekly last week that they would no longer be going forward with their marriage.
"After three incredible years, we have decided to go our separate ways. This difficult decision comes after thoughtful, respectful consideration," the statement read. "Even though we are parting as a couple, we're very much committed to remaining friends. We have both evolved as people, which is taking us in different directions, but with the hope that we will continue to support each other in new ways. Due to the nature of how we met, our relationship has always been very public, and we have enjoyed sharing it with all of you, but we ask that you respect our decision and our privacy at this time."
"Everyone around them is happy they can finally move on with their lives and stop avoiding their issues," an insider said. "Kaitlyn has been out, being social and having a great time on her own. She's truly happier doing her own thing. Shawn's been so busy in his business. It has been heading in the wrong direction for months now."
Another insider added, "Everyone was rooting for them but they truly grew apart when their lives got busy and couldn't get back to where they were."
The Bachelor returns to ABC in January 2019.
Photo Credit: Instagram/Shawn Booth