AceShowbiz - Clayton Echard and Susie Evans have called it quits. The season 26 star of "The Bachelor" and his ex announced their "painful" split through a joint statement shared on Friday, September 23.
Posting an Instagram photo of themselves smiling, the now-exes wrote, "With incredibly heavy hearts, we wanted to share that we have decided to go our separate ways." They added, "For anyone who has ever loved, knows this was a painful decision to make and not one taken lightly."
"We understand that there will likely be a lot of questions about this decision - social media is definitely a highlight reel and much of our experiences together we have kept private as I'm sure most can understand," they added. "But we will share this - although this last year together has brought us so much joy and so many laughs, there has also been a significant amount of pain."
"We know no healthy relationship comes without its struggles, but we've realized that we were not prepared for the external forces that hindered our ability to not only heal as individuals but also as a couple," the two continued. "We both are focused on continuing to work on ourselves, so we can be the best version of ourselves."
Clayton and Susie went on to note that "this is not an easy time for either of us but we stand in support of each other and hope to see the other go on to find happiness and healing." They then wrote, "Although Claysie is no more, we hope that our communities can support us individually as we move forward with love and respect for each other. Thank you to all of you that supported our relationship. It means so much more than you will ever know."
Clayton and Susie met on his season of "The Bachelor". Though she was initially sent home, Clayton decided to pursue her by not giving his final rose to either of his remaining two women, Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia.
The pair's breakup arrived after the two announced that they would be pursuing a long-distance relationship. After living together for months in her native Virginia Beach, the former football player returned to Arizona while the videographer moved to Los Angeles.