24 year-old property analyst Abbie Chatfield was undoubtedly one of the more controversial characters we saw on the Bachelor Australia this year.
Despite near-constant speculation about how genuine she was, she made it to the final two - ultimately losing out out to Chelsie McLeod in the battle for Matt Agnew's heart.
The odds were firmly against Abbie given Matt's best friend had serious doubts about whether she wanted the same things as Matt. The Bachelor had made his desire for marriage and kids in the next few years very clear and when pressed on the subject, Abbie was less than convincing.
Now, Abbie has heartbreakingly explained exactly why she was uncomfortable being asked whether or not she wanted to have children. Speaking on the podcast Shameless, she revealed that she had an abortion in March 2018, only months before appearing on the show.
Raw emotions were brought to a head in dramatic fashion during filming, leaving Abbie in tears after a visit from pregnant ex-winners Snezana Wood and Laura Byrne.
"The producer asked me if I was wondering what it was like to be pregnant, like a general 'Isn't it nice to see Snez and Laura pregnant? Wouldn't it be nice to be pregnant with someone you love?'" she explained.
"And because I had an abortion last year, I just started sobbing."
Abbie revealed that being constantly questioned on the show about whether she wanted children made her uncomfortable.
"I think at that time, I felt very guilty for saying that I wanted kids because I had aborted one in March last year," she shared.
Later, during a single date where Abbie and Matt effectively played house in a 'moving in' scenario, Abbie explains that told Matt about the abortion, but because she whispered it to to him and it wasn't caught properly on camera, a producer asked her to repeat it louder.
"And then I turned around, looked dead in the camera and said, 'I had a f--king abortion last year!'" she revealed.
"After that I went and sobbed on that bed in the foetal position, like scream crying and I was like 'I'm going to leave,' so then Matt came in and got me and we had a bit of a chat and he said 'We're dropping it'."
Abbie says that although she begged producers to not include her abortion story on the show, it's not something she hid from others.
"In the house, I told the girls about my abortion... because I didn't want other women to feel ashamed about having abortions and I feel like it was used against me," she said.
"A lot of women have abortions and, whether or not you know they have abortions, it's OK. I just don't want people to be shamed for that or feel internal shame."
"Maybe someone who's kind of in the public eye saying they've had an abortion and that it's OK will help them."
The whole experience of the abortion left her a mess. Abbie said that three weeks after it happened, she fell into a "deep depression," and admitted that there were still feelings of guilt.
"My boyfriend at the time was literally the worst. He went out the night that I had my abortion because he wanted to be with the boys and have a few drinks even though I was holding on to his shirt and being like 'Please don't leave me,'" she revealed.
"And then he told me in the weeks after that I wasn't fun anymore."
It goes a long way to explaining some of her behaviour on the show. Matt felt a deep connection with her but the other women were suspicious of her intentions.
She was constantly told she was too young, disingenuous, a trouble maker and was widely accused of using her sexuality to manipulate Matt. The online backlash got so bad that host Osher Gunsberg felt the need to speak out.
"I've been doing this job a while now. Tweeting every episode that goes to air," he wrote. "And I am always interested to see how a strong woman powerfully expressing her sexuality makes so many people so uncomfortable."
Whatever others might think about her intentions, Abby has been very open about how the outcome of the show has affected her.
Describing the moment Matt let her go as as a "complete and utter shock," she said she "felt silly for ever imagining Matt would love me," and "spent weeks crying about this relationship that had almost no closure."
But all of that said, she was gracious about losing the man she thought she had a future with. "I still haven't fully healed from my relationship with Matt, but I know he and the gorgeous woman he is with are happy, and that's all that matters."
Putting all of the heartache aside, Abbie described her journey on The Bachelor as a "life changing experience," and says she's "grown into a stronger, more assured woman who can handle anything and that's pretty bloody fantastic!"
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