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Ben Higgins Responds to 'Bachelor' Rumors That Producers Interfere with Show

Former Bachelor Ben Higgins is speaking about rumors that Bachelor in Paradise producers may have encouraged cast mates to hook up.

“I was never forced into anything. I was talked through as a friend in situations. If I was confused, they would sit with me and allow me to speak my mind and help me process. Yes, there is producing that is done. It’s a show! There are situations that happen that they need to get something out of, but it’s never a forced situation,” Ben said during his iHeartRadio podcast, Almost Famous.

There are rumors that producers encouraged a hookup between DeMario Jackson and a female cast member that led to allegations of misconduct. Ben has never appeared on Bachelor in Paradise, but has been on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

Lauren Bushnell 'Having a Hard Time' Since Split With 'Bachelor' Ben Higgins

Lauren Bushnell has been keeping quite since her breakup with Bachelor Ben Higgins, but it’s reportedly been a difficult time.

The 27-year-old realty star has been “having a hard time” with the split, according to E! News.

Lauren is having a hard time with her split from Ben. It has been a tough adjustment for Lauren to be without someone that she has shared so much time with for the past year,” a source said.

While Lauren hasn’t been as open about the split as Ben, she recently explained that she didn’t want to do their reality show Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After.

“I didn’t really want to do it, to be honest. I wanted to move on with our life and just have a moment that was just about us…But that was a really high-stress situation. I didn’t feel like I got the support that I needed when we were filming that — just from everyone,” she told People.

The Bachelor's Lauren Bushnell Hasn't Returned Her Engagement Ring Yet

  • Lauren Bushnell plans to return her engagement ring from Ben Higgins, but that hasn’t happened just yet – TMZ
  • Rob Kardashian may have a new girlfriend – Wetpaint
  • Chloe Moretz is not happy about the marketing for her new movie – and for good reason – Just Jared Jr
  • Darren Criss sorta resembles a Ken doll in his latest photo, no? – DListed
  • Emily Ratajakowski bares it all in this new pic – Hollywood Tuna
  • Get more details on Kathy Griffin‘s firing by CNN – Towleroad
  • Are Bella Thorne and Gregg Sulkin back together? – J-14

The Bachelor's Ben Higgins & Ashley Iaconetti Are 'Just Friends'

Ben Higgins is opening up about rumors that he is dating former The Bachelor contestant Ashley Iaconetti after they were spotted at a concert this weekend.

The 29-year-old reality star, who just split from his fiancee Lauren Bushnell, says that he and Ashley are just friends.

“Ashley is great. She’s [just] a good friend and a great cohost and your cohost can be a friend as well, can we all agree?” Ben told Ryan Seacrest (via Us Weekly).

“Totally just friends!” Ashley added. “We went with our podcast manager at iHeart and other friends.”

Ben and Ashley: Almost Famous is set to premiere on iHeartRadio on May 23.

The Bachelor's Ben Higgins Attends Concert With Ashley Iaconetti After Lauren Bushnell Split

Is Ben Higgins already cozying up someone else?

The newly-single Bachelor, who recently called off his engagement to Lauren Bushnell, was spotted attending a Bryan Adams concert on Saturday night (May 20) at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, according to TMZ.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Ben Higgins

Ben went with fellow Bachelor alum Ashley Iaconetti, who – if you remember – was on Chris Soules‘ season.

Not so fast though – sources tell the site that they’re just friends and are launching a new podcast soon.

In case you missed it, Ben recently opened up about how his split from Lauren was a long time coming.

Ben Higgins Breaks Silence on Lauren Bushnell Breakup

Ben Higgins is opening up about his split from Lauren Bushnell.

The Bachelor star implies that the breakup was a long time coming.

“Just to be as politically correct as possible and to also be as truthful as possible, Lauren will always be one of my best friends,” Ben said during a Bachelor Nation podcast (via E! News). “It’s [a relationship] where I learned a lot about myself; I think she learned a lot about herself. Obviously, she knows me better than anybody else that has gone through this experience, and really probably anybody else in the world. It’s tough.”

“It’s hard to say goodbye to somebody that you spent so much time with and it’s hard to say goodbye to somebody that you really did believe was the one for you,” Ben continued. “I think mutually Lauren and I saw that life was getting more difficult. I would say the joy that we felt toward our relationship at the beginning was—for some reason—slipping away, and we were both working very hard to bring that joy back. And it just never seemed to get there. So it was a long time coming but it wasn’t necessarily like we dragged it out.”

“It was for the best,” he added.

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Bachelor's Ben Higgins & Lauren Bushnell Split

Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell, who met on the January 2016 season of The Bachelor, have split up.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways,” they tell People in a statement. “We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another. We wish nothing but the best for each other, and ask for your support and understanding at this time.”

Ben, 29, chose Lauren, 27, over future Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher and the couple began their journey. They had a Freeform reality show Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After? Ben and Lauren have faced constant relationship rumors since they went public.

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