Even as rumors, fueled by his own brother, continue to swirl that “The Bachelorette” winner Jef Holm caught his now-fiance, Emily Maynard, in a cheating scandal, the couple is taking the next step in their relationship.
“I just moved to Charlotte a few days ago. We are still engaged,” Holm, 28, said today on “Good Morning America” in the couple’s first live TV appearance since Holm’s brother, Mike Holm, confirmed a recent Us Magazine cover story that Holm found explicit text messages and photos to and from another man on Maynard’s phone while the couple was on vacation with Holm’s family in South Carolina.
“I don’t know why he [Mike] would do that,” said Holm, who moved to Maynard’s hometown from Utah. “You know, sometimes, I think in our situation it brings out the worst in people and I don’t even know if he really knows why he did that.”
“I love my family and I love my brother,” he said. “I support him and I know he supports us a couple and it just makes people do crazy things sometimes.”
Holm, a social entrepreneur and skateboarder, beat out 24 other men to win the affection of Maynard, a stay-at-home mom, and proposed to her in the season finale of “The Bachelorette” in July.
Maynard, who lives in Charlotte with her daughter, Ricki, 7, also brushed off the infidelity claims.
“It broke my heart for Jef more than anything,” she said. “I can get through whatever anybody says about me but the fact that it was family, that just broke my heart for him. But we’re better than ever so it doesn’t faze me one bit.”
The couple has stayed in the headlines since their July proposal – appearing on magazine covers, on TV and publicizing their recent charity trip to Ghana with Holm’s company, People Water – but Maynard predicts that soon their star will diminish and they’ll be a normal family living in Charlotte.
“Now it’s my turn to help him laugh about it and take it all in stride and know that next week nobody is going to care about the couple from “The Bachelorette” that was on that show,” she said.
Starring as “The Bachelorette” was Maynard’s second go at the reality show franchise. She accepted a marriage proposal from Brad Womack during the 15th season of “The Bachelor,” but that relationship didn’t work out. Prior to that, she had been engaged to NASCAR driver and team owner Ricky Hendrick, the father of her daughter, who died in a plane crash in 2004.
Now that she’s found love again with Holm, and now that they’re living in the same town, Maynard says she is ready to start planning her wedding day.
“The first on my check list was getting him to Charlotte and now we can start the fun part,” she said. “I just want it to be like super chill, good music, good food and lots of family. I just want him there.”