Ben Flajnik and Courtney Robertson couldn’t break “The Bachelor’s” bad luck streak.
“The Bachelor” couple have officially split, ending their engagement after 11 months.
“After meeting over a year ago, we have decided to end our romantic relationship. The ups and downs weighed heavily on us both and ultimately we started to grow apart because of the distance, time apart, and our need to focus on our respective careers,” the couple told In Touch in a joint statement. “We have nothing but the utmost respect for each other, and both feel this is the right decision. We continue to remain friends and will support each other in future endeavors. Thanks to everyone for your love and support, it’s been quite a ride.”
The Sonoma winemaker, 30, and the model, 29, got engaged in Switzerland on the Season 16 finale of the ABC reality show in November 2011. Ben’s final choice made for a firestorm of controversy when he gave the final rose, and a three-carat engagement ring to boot, to cocky Courtney — the villain of the season.
The couple initially survived Robertson’s flurry of bad press, a brutal “After the Final Rose” special, a brief time-out after the proposal, and allegations of cheating by Ben four months after the show aired.
As recently as August, their relationship seemed to be okay, as Us Weekly points out that Flajnik Tweeted the couple’s trip to Baker Beach in San Francisco would be “an ideal location for their nuptials.”
People magazine also notes this upbeat message from Courtney, posted just five days ago, along with a photo of herself and Ben in a vineyard: “I have a new appreciation for wine. It’s amazing to see all the hard work and care that goes into wine making. Very proud of @Benflajnik and the boys!”