Jessica Batten is opening up about her awkward reunion with Matthew Barnett and Amber Pike while filming Love Is Blind: After the Altar. The Netflix reality personality spoke with Entertainment Tonight after reuniting with her former co-stars for a two-year anniversary party, saying that while it was "definitely difficult" handling the backlash from her initial season, she was "really proud" of herself having the "courage to walk in there."
"It was a big decision for me to go back on the show. It was something that I wanted to leave in the past, but I felt like I wanted to tell my story and getting through the past year and a half," she explained. Her attempt to make amends with Barnett and Amber, however, fell flat, when she attempted to gift the couple an anniversary present, but the two shot her down. The awkward moment took Jessica by "surprise," despite her knowing her former crush and his wife are not her "biggest fans."
"It was on my heart to approach them and let them know, 'Hey, so much time has passed. I'm happy for y'all,'" she continued. "I've worked through all my emotions. I've been put through it in the press and I've moved on a long time ago from that. So yeah, I handed them the gift and I didn't expect this. Probably most awkward moment of my entire life. I'm just standing there, holding out this bag, and [Barnett] just wouldn't grab the bag. It was quite embarrassing."
Jessica hasn't had any kind of communication with Amber or Barnett since, saying they blocked her on social media. Despite their ups and downs, Jessica said she didn't have anything negative to say to them. "Hopefully they can come to a place where they can recognize that I do exist in this world," she said. "I think that was probably the most hurtful thing."
Jessica added there was a bit of social media drama between her new boyfriend, Benjamin McGrath, and Barnett, when the foot and ankle surgeon reached out to the couple himself. Jessica said her beau was simply being "protective," and that she didn't know about the message until afterward. The decision not to bring her new love to the After the Altar filming came from a place of wanting to keep her relationship private.
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"I love our relationship. As much as I'd love to share it, the hatred that I got from that first show, it was hard but I could also see it for what it was," she explained. "If I had people commenting on my relationship I would take that very hard, so it's not something we want to put on public display." She continued that getting through the aftermath of Love Is Blind was something she did alone, so it was "important" for her to walk into the reunion solo. "Because I think that's the better story ... I saved myself," she said. "It was important to me to show up in that way."