'The Bachelor': Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi on What Caused Their Breakup

Jave Pavelka and Vienna Girardi accuse each other during post-split interview.

July 4, 2010, 6:49 PM

July 5, 2010 — -- Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi weren't afraid to live and love in the spotlight, and now their acrimonious breakup is being played out in an equally public way.

Pavelka, star of the last season of ABC's "The Bachelor," created quite a stir when he gave the final rose and an engagement ring to Girardi.

Pavelka, a 32-year-old pilot from Denton, Texas, chose Girardi over fellow finalist and fan favorite, Tenley Molzahn.

On the season's final episode on March 1, Girardi said Pavelka was man she'd always wanted, and that the ending was the "fairy tale" she thought she'd never have.

But Girardi's fairy tale ending never came true.

In June, the pair announced their split. Girardi reportedly gave Pavelka back the three-carat Neil Lane diamond engagement ring, which he will return to the show's producers.

Since then, the breakup has taken a decidedly bitter tone. Pavelka has accused Girardi of being unfaithful -- a charge she denied, while Girardi, 24, said Pavelka had turned cold.

In an interview with Star Magazine -- one for which she reportedly earned $90,000 -- she claimed said Pavelka wasn't affectionate unless an audience was watching.

The couple will face each other tonight during a special episode of "The Bachelorette" at 8. In the interview, snippets of which were released by ABC, Girardi calls Pavelka a "liar," while he accuses her of cheating.

Chris Harrison, who hosts both shows and conducted the interview, was surprised by the former pair's tone.

"When I went into this interview I did not think it would get as angry and contentious as it did," he told "Good Morning America."

"Maybe it was too soon to have this intimate of a discussion, you know, the wounds are too fresh because they both got angry, they both were throwing allegations, just he said, she said, who broke up with who, I broke up, you broke up -- it almost got childish," Harrison said.

"Jake says Vienna loved the lights and Vienna calls Jake a fame whore and I think they are probably both to a certain extent right. I think they did both enjoy the limelight and they did enjoy the press, obviously," Harrison added.

Pavelka's Pick Widely Panned

When Harrison asked Girardi why she took her story to the tabloids, she said she felt that interest in their breakup was high and she wanted to get her side out.

"I know Jake and I knew as soon as we broke up, he was going to run to a media outlet and tell his side of the story, so I wanted to make sure ... I had a voice also," she said. "You know I ... haven't had a voice this entire time. And I've let everybody say what they wanted to say about me ... and I wasn't going to let it happen again."

It appeared that they both came in to the interview intending to have an amicable exchange, Harrison said.

But that changed.

"You could just see Jake stewing and then ... and what set him off was just being sold out, you know, at least that was his main point, you know, how could you have sold me out to a tabloid for money?" Harrison added.

During the interview, Girardi said she did try to make the relationship work.

"I stayed with him because I thought it would be different," she said. "And I loved him and I wanted it to be different."

Pavelka and Girardi join the long list of "Bachelor" couples who have called it quits. In 14 seasons, there's been just one "Bachelor" wedding. Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney got married in February.

Pavelka's choice of Girardi had been widely panned.

On the season finale, Pavelka professed to being in love with both women, but expressed a stronger physical attraction for Girardi than for Molzahn, who works in college admissions.

Girardi Was Controversial Contestant

Girardi, a marketing representative and former Hooters restaurant waitress, had stirred up controversy among her fellow contestants and the show's fans throughout the season.

Many of the contestants had described Girardi as immature and a source of drama in the house, but she defended herself by saying she was simply being honest, and being herself.

When Pavelka's family members met the two finalists, they preferred Molzahn.

Pavelka's mother Sallie called the two "the perfect couple," but said the other contestants' reaction to Girardi was "a red flag."

Sallie Pavelka later said she no longer had concerns about Girardi and that she was convinced that Girardi loved her son.

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