Shock secret that tore Richie and Alex apart
Richie Strahan and Alex Nation have sensationally come to blows over their relationship breakdown following The Bachelor.
In a nine-minute, tense conversation, which aired unedited on tonight's hotly anticipated episode of Bachelor in Paradise, the pair hinted at a bombshell secret behind their "grubby" split.
Having not spoken to each other since their abrupt breakup in early 2017, their conversation started pleasantly after Alex arrived on the island. But it quickly turned south with both of them throwing accusations at each other.
Little has been known about why the pair, who fell in love on 2016's season of the show, broke up only months after the finale, with the single mum moving on very publicly with her AFL teammate Maegan Luxa in August 2017.
Now we've been given an insight into what happened behind closed doors.
Here is exactly how the most explosive part of the long conversation unfolded:
Richie: Yeah absolutely. We haven't spoken since … And you know exactly why and what happened. What I woke up to.
R: I meant I just can't believe someone would do that to someone.
A: Me? Someone do something to you? Do you actually want to go there Rich? Because I feel like people would have a very big opinion of a woman, being left alone, to do something that involved both of us.
R: Don't beat around the bush Alex say it. Because you're not gonna like my response. Because we did talk about it. We talked about the whole thing.
A: Over the phone.
R: Yeah, and what you said to me blew my mind. So if you wanna go into it Alex we can. Again, I've had to come to peace with this. I've thought about this a lot. I tried so hard to make our relationship work and …
A: You tried hard to make our relationship work?
R: Yeah definitely. 100 per cent.
A: So you don't think you left any room to grow to try that little bit harder? So you're honestly sitting there and saying you were perfect in our relationship? Because I wasn't.
R: No one's perfect, Alex. Don't try and put words in my mouth and say I'm saying what I'm not.
A: Yeah but the way you're saying it is 'I did this, I did that'.
R: Because I did. I did a lot, Alex. I did so much to try and keep our relationship going and …
A: Yeah because you knew you couldn't salvage it, because you knew that after what happened, when I was left alone, to go through something massive that no woman should go through.
R: Yeah but you wanted to do it. It was your choice …
A: It was me?! I actually can't believe that you are telling me that it was me.
R: Yeah. You wanted to go down that pathway because remember, you said to me, that you wanted to focus on your AFL career. That was part of it.
A: No I didn't!
R: Yes you did, on the phone.
A: What career? I don't even have an AFL career to focus on.
R: Exactly, that's why it's so crazy Alex. That's why I've come to peace with everything else
A: I don't even know what you're talking about … AFL career.
R: Yeah, exactly. That's what I told myself.
A: So you're going to sit there and say to me that all of that was my decision and we didn't have a conv …
R: No, no we talked about it. Alex you're a mother. I know that, clearly. I spoke to you at length about that because you've gone down that pathway. You know what is involved with that. We spoke at length about it.
A: But you knew what it did to me though. You even said it yourself.
R: I supported you and your decisions and everything that you wanted to do.
A: Yeah, but where were you?
R: Alex, how are you supposed to click your fingers? I'm just supposed to appear places? You changed the goalposts so many times.
A: But that doesn't matter. If you're a man and you're in that situation, you move mountains to be there for your partner.
R: Yeah but there's achievable and there's not achievable. Why wouldn't you just wait until I could be there?
A: Richie, you had 48 hours.
R: I don't think I had 48 hours.
A: Yes you did. Trust me, I remember.
The former couple did not explicitly say what it was Alex had to go through.
Despite the confrontation, Alex and Richie ended the confrontation on civil terms, both agreeing to disagree and move on.
"It's OK. I'm happy that you're in a good spot. That you've grown as a person. It's all good, I've put that to bed," Richie said.
Alex replied: "I don't have any ill feelings towards you. I've put it to rest. I've moved on."
Richie, a ropes technician, had chosen Alex over fan favourite Nikki Gogan at the end of the reality show's fourth season. It was a decision that left viewers infuriated.
Viewers were left uncomfortable watching the personal and at times cryptic conversation.
"I actually fell very awkward listening to Richie and Alex's conversation right now," wrote one on Twitter.
Some in the audience were struggling to piece together the secret behind the couple's breakup, while others were highly critical of both parties roles in ending the relationship.
Richie: HELLO FIJI!— Jo Thornely (@jothornely) April 10, 2019
Fiji: Please explain to all of your ex-girlfriends why you broke up, in detail and right now. #BachelorInParadise
Alex became engaged to partner Maegan in December 2017, however the couple split in April 2018. They have remained friends.
Alex told TV Week last week the pair broke off the engagement because their relationship was moving "way too fast".
"When she proposed, I said yes with my whole heart," she said.
"But as time went on, I thought this was going way too fast. We didn't break up; we decided we wouldn't be engaged, so I stopped wearing my ring.
"She was really amazing. She was so supportive and understanding of that because she'd been with women for all her romantic life."
On Tuesday night's premiere episode, Richie hinted to host Osher Gunsberg he found out about Alex leaving him for Maegan via the media.
"Ah look, the circumstances surrounding our relationship and how it all came to an end, it's pretty grubby, it did a lot of damage," Richie said bluntly.
"It wasn't Alex meeting Maegan and getting into a relationship with a woman (that hurt), you do you, I'm pro go with who you're falling in love with.
"It would have been nice to have that communicated a lot earlier and communicated at all would have been handy.
"Yeah, yeah it was uh, quite a large shock, Osh, to wake up in the morning and see your relationship ending, um yeah."
Bachelor in Paradise airs Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm on Network 10