‘Bachelorette’ Gabby Windey ‘shocked’ by fiancé Erich Schwer’s blackface photo

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“The Bachelorette” star Gabby Windey is speaking out after an old photo resurfaced of her fiancé, Erich Schwer, in blackface.

“I was incredibly shocked,” Windey, 31, told People in an interview published Tuesday. “[I] just really had to process my thoughts and then think about how we can grow as a couple and learn from this.”

Windey also revealed that she found out with the rest of the world about the photo, which appeared in Schwer’s high school yearbook and showed him in blackface with an Afro wig.

When the picture first surfaced online earlier this month, Schwer, 29, apologized for being “insensitive” and explained that his makeup was part of a costume.

Schwer previously apologized for his “insensitive” photo.

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ERICH

Schwer previously apologized for his “insensitive” photo.

ABC

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“You have to show up and demand that people continue…

“What I thought at the time was a representation of my love for Jimi Hendrix, was nothing but ignorance,” he wrote on Instagram. “I was naïve to the hurtful implications of my actions to the Black community and those closest to me, and will forever regret my offensive and damaging behavior.”

The New Jersey-born real estate analyst concluded his post by expressing how “deeply ashamed” he was of his actions as a teenager and acknowledging that his “apology is only the first step in taking accountability.”

It was not Schwer’s only controversy, however. He also found himself in hot water when his ex-girlfriend Amanda Kaylor released screenshots of text messages revealing he went on the ABC reality dating series to advance his career.

Windey shared in Tuesday’s interview that Schwer gave her a heads-up before the texts appeared online, but the back-to-back scandals still put their engagement to the test.

ABC's "The Bachelorette" - Season 19

“It was a time for us to take a step back and reflect on our relationship and see if we can get through this,” Windey explained.

ABC via Getty Images

ERICH, GABBY WINDEY

“It was a time for us to take a step back and reflect on our relationship and see if we can get through this,” Windey explained.

ABC

Up Next

“You have to show up and demand that people continue…

“Ultimately it was a time for us to take a step back and reflect on our relationship and see if we can get through this,” she told People.

“You have to really lead on your communication, be really honest with each other while having these tough conversations.”

Despite his initial hesitation to get engaged, Schwer proposed to Windey during their final rose ceremony in Tuesday’s dramatic Season 19 finale.

“I love you, Gabby Windey,” he said before popping the question. “You are amazing. You are the most amazing person I’ve ever met. It’s you, me until the wheels fall off. I’m head over heels in love with you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

ABC also announced during the finale that the next “Bachelor” will be Zach Shallcross, whose season airs after “Bachelor in Paradise” premieres next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.


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