NEW YORK – Bachelor star Aaron Buerge turned out to be a cad -- dumping his fiancee, Helene Eksterowicz, at a Starbucks just five weeks after "choosing" her on the ABC reality show.
Aaron told Helene that he was no longer "emotionally invested" in their relationship, Helene tells the March 3 issue of People magazine.
"It felt like a bomb dropped," Eksterowicz says, breaking her silence for the first time. "I said, 'I feel very deceived by you. You've told me every single day that you love me, and now this is it?' "
Helene says that she and Aaron, both 28, ran into trouble just after the rangy Missouri banker proposed (on bended knee) to the New Jersey school psychologist last September on the finale of The Bachelor, which didn't air until November.
The couple had to keep their relationship a secret for two months, and "tried to talk every day on the phone, but it was too hard," Helene says. In late September, they met secretly in Toronto -- where Helen caught Aaron staring at another woman in a bar.
"I gave him back the ring and told him, 'If you're serious about this, you shouldn't be looking at other girls,'" she says. One of Helene's friends says that Helene was very serious about moving to Aaron's hometown of Springfield, Missouri -- "to leave everything, knowing they were going to have a future together. Helene genuinely loved him."
Aaron even proposed to Helene -- again -- just after the couple watched The Bachelor finale together in a Manhattan hotel room (they were interviewed by the press the next day at ABC headquarters).
"We were so happy," Helene says. "I was just so relieved to have all this over so we could see each other as much as we wanted.
"It would be just us," she says. "We were laughing in the bed, and I asked, 'Would you mind proposing again?'"
So what's Aaron's take on Helene's comments?
"It was just the best decision for both of us," he tells People -- but Helene disagrees, and told him so in one of their last conversations.
"I said, 'I think you're making a big mistake. I was in this for the right reasons. I would have done anything for you.'"
Aaron and Helene will reunite tonight for The Bachelor: Aaron and Helene Tell, airing at 8 p.m.
The stars of the original edition of The Bachelor, Alex Michel and Amanda Marsh, have also dissolved their relationship (Alex never proposed to Amanda).