So few Bachelor franchise couples get a happily ever after. It happens … but rarely.
Given that Rachel Recchia dumped Tino Franco after he cheated, it’s pretty safe to say that they’re not an exception.
Their split divided the Bachelor Nation. Some condemned Tino. Others felt that Rachel was somehow “too harsh.”
But Tino is opening up in a no-holds-barred interview about where the relationship went south. Part of it, he admitted, began with the show itself.
Tino Franco spoke on the Viall Files podcast on Thursday, October 20.
“We can talk about [almost] anything at this point,” Tino noted.
“Obviously, there are things that, you know, transpired between me and Rachel that — as we’ve both said — are deeply personal,” he acknowledged.
“And we’re not going to touch it that,” Tino then affirmed.
“[But] I think we can very easily go through the timeline without touching any of that,” he shared.
“I do not stand by what I did at all,” Tino emphasized, clearly referring to cheating.
“It was not cool. It wasn’t fair to Rachel,” Tino emphasized.
“And it haunts me daily, still,” he expressed. “It’s something I’m ashamed of.”
Tino added: “And certainly, like, wish I could have done it differently, like, a million times over.”
“I’m trying to go through and unfold and figure out why my insecurities, my ego could just take over my actions like that,” Tino admitted.
“And,” he continued, why it “just led me down this path to go to rock bottom.”
Tino is now in therapy, and is glad that he is embarking upon this journey. He only wishes that he had begun it sooner.
After the breakup, some people claimed that Rachel was overreacting.
Seemingly credible reports claimed that he and Rachel were somehow “on a break,” in a very retro Friends reference sort of way.
“I want to put it to bed,” Tino clarified. “We weren’t on a break. I don’t know where that came from.”
Tino emphasized: “We were not separated or anything like that.”
He then detailed: “When I acted out, I felt like … we were starting to check out. We were just in a really dark place.”
Tino admitted: “Like, it’s hard to describe.”
Tino finds it challenging to discuss “because even looking back on it, it takes me to a place where, like, I really wish I just didn’t do that and just didn’t act out.”
He commented: “When you go through hard times in a relationship, it’s hard to convince yourself that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”
As for what drove him to cheat, he simply says that it was his own insecurities.
“I just kind of gave in. I just leaned in, and we kissed and that wasn’t fair to that girl, either,” Tino confessed.
“That wasn’t considerate of her feelings at all. Like, she didn’t want to be wrapped up in any of this,” he added.
And he admitted that not telling Rachel immediately was, in its own way, as disastrous as the kiss itself. The longer that he held onto it, as things got better, the worse of a secret it became.
Watching the show as it aired, Tino admitted, was harder than most people could imagine.
“We kind of knew what we were signing up for as contestants in the sense that we’re gonna see a lot of public displays of affection for people that aren’t us,” he noted.
“It’s not the Tino and Rachel show,” he acknowledged. “That took way bigger of a toll on me than I thought it would.”
“I think we both had a lot of pressure on ourselves. You feel like you’re under a spotlight,” Tino explained.
“Of course, the leads get a tremendous amount of attention that I personally can’t even empathize with because I’ve never done it,” he added. Meaning that Rachel’s role was even harder.
Tino emphasized: “I really think I could’ve been a way more supportive partner for her and seen through the storm.”