"The Bachelorette: Men Tell All" was one of the most heated ever in the franchise's history as fellow contestants lashed out at Luke "Luke P." Parker for his treatment of Hannah Brown — and Parker's family was not here for his portrayal on the show.
For the uninitiated, on last week's episode, Parker — who isn't a virgin but said he's now saving himself for marriage — argued with Brown, 34, over her sexual exploits with other men on the show.
"The closest thing to love at first sight was probably with you," Brown told Parker during what would be his final episode. Parker then told her that being intimate with other men during the show's infamous "fantasy suites" wasn't "something [she] should be doing," adding, "If you told me you had sex or were having sex with one or multiple of these guys, I'd be wanting to go home."
She then sent him home, but on the "Men Tell All" special, it was revealed he came back to try to propose to her — which didn't go well. Brown called Parker a "narcissist" and told him to leave repeatedly in the clip, which was shown during "Men Tell All."
Parker told host Chris Harrison after his segments reaired on the special, “You look back at hometowns and she told my whole Sunday school group that sex in the fantasy suites wasn’t going to be something she was going to do. Even before that conversation at dinner in Greece, I explained what my desires were with sex and fantasy suites and she agreed and she said she was in the same boat and she shared the same desires to abstain from sex before marriage. So I was blindsided by the whole thing.”
He continued, “I didn’t expect her reaction. Like I said, I’m not going to ever judge her for anything that she does, and I was never judging her. I was making a decision for myself of what I wanted and something that I’ve been seeking. That is what I proved showing back up to fight for Hannah. The only reason I went back was to show Hannah something that I shared with her from day one — I’m always going to fight for her.”
Parker explained that he projected his idea of a "perfect woman" on Brown, and putting her on that pedestal made it easier for her to fall from it in his eyes, and he believed he was on a "rescue mission" for her from the other men on the show.
“It wasn’t the fact that she had sex that would make me want to leave her. I went in there because I felt like she was making a mistake," he said. "I really thought, no matter what, this is the one for me. I’ve never felt anything like this. If you’re wondering, these feelings were real and I know they were real for her. That’s why you see me say things like, ‘She has never told me she loves me, but I believe that she does.'”
Parker's comments didn't sit well with the other men, who were quick to call him out.
Devin Harris came onstage during Parker's segment and told him, “There are two types of men. There are men that want an independent, strong woman. And there are men that want a woman that they can control. I feel right now that you are the man that wants to control a woman so that you can feel better about yourself. That’s not a man. What blows my mind is you’re saying that you’re on a rescue mission, but it seemed that the only person that needed rescuing was Hannah from you.”
Harris wasn't alone in his sentiments. Mike Johnson called Parker a "narcissistic, cantankerous misogynist," while Connor Saeli, who initially said he tried to give Parker a chance, told him, "You’re a liar, a manipulator, you’re controlling and you honestly are a psychopath."
Parker responded, “My integrity and my character is [sic] being questioned constantly. Everything I say, I’m being looked at like a liar. Think about that. That’s just not easy to deal with. … I do hate that’s what happened. And I do admit that’s because of me, I admit that was because of my pride. That’s not easy to deal with.”
He added, "It hurts me to hear that some of you don’t accept my apology. And I want you to know that I’m sincerely sorry about how it played out. I admit to being very immature through a lot of the process. It became about me because of my arrogance and my pride and I am working on those things…I really hope that you guys can forgive me.”
After the special aired, Parker's brother, Mike, told The Gainesville Times that Luke was unfairly vilified in editing and production of the show.
“The only thing that’s obvious to me is this show is produced by people who are very much opposed to a biblical Gospel,” Mike fumed. “And I wholeheartedly believe that from the very beginning of the show, they have meticulously drawn this narrative that Luke’s a liar, that he is a manipulator who, to this point that we are now, no matter what Luke says, no one is going to listen to him.”
Mike insisted that Luke's intentions were only the holiest, adding, “He said he was jamming to worship music the whole way down there because he didn't want to waste his time with this whole thing. He really wanted it to be a God thing.”
“Their whole relationship was built on faith,” Mike said of Luke and Brown's connection. “The show doesn’t highlight it, but that was the foundation of their relationship. And the next thing that happens is she comes to hometowns, she tells us how all the guys in the house hate Luke. And I start watching the episodes and I start seeing the things they make Luke to be and I'm like, questioning God. I’m like, ‘Why God? What's the purpose here? What’s the reason?’”
“Luke has spoken faith out this entire season, and they don't show any of it,” Mike continued. “At Curt's Cafeteria, when Hannah was in front of the Bible study, she told the whole Bible study group that fantasy suites aren't for sex, and she wasn't going to be having sex in the fantasy suite. She said she was going to be having deep conversations with them. She told that in front of the whole Bible study group and they don't show that.”
He added that he believes Luke was made out to be the show's villain from the get-go to drive viewership, and that the show used his faith against him.
“These conversations are hours of conversations that get chopped up, rearranged. I'm very aware that they've had an agenda this whole time," he said. "From the very beginning, they need an antagonist, they need to tell a story. They need that drama ... The only thing that’s obvious to me is this show is produced by people who are very much opposed to a biblical Gospel. And I wholeheartedly believe that from the very beginning of the show, they have meticulously drawn this narrative that Luke's a liar, that he is a manipulator who, to this point that we are now, no matter what Luke says, no one is going to listen to him."
Mike also took a shot at Brown's own religious views after she famously declared that Jesus still loves her even though she's had sex with other men outside of marriage.
“The issue that Luke has, and what's breaking his heart, is not what she did,” Mike insisted. “It’s not that she had sex with some guy in a windmill. It's how she's acting about it, how she's arrogantly boasting about it … She's totally missing the mark. Her theology, her everything is way, way, way, way off. And it's so off that it's like, I've got to say something.”
Parker himself spoke out yet again on Instagram late Monday night.
"I want you all to know why I went on this TV show and why I went back for @alabamahannah after she sent me home. I never wanted to go on the show to begin with, my sister in law @hleaparker22 signed me up and I kept an open mind," he claimed. "Going through the interview process I watched Colton’s season and a beautiful southern girl stood out to me during the intro videos. She told the cameras she respected Colton’s virginity and that it was super appealing to her that he was a virgin, and was the bachelor because sex was a big deal to her. I saw her Instagram and in her bio read 'I love Jesus with my whole heart,' I was sold and if I was going on this TV show it was for her."
He added, "I also noticed she told Colton how she wanted to be a wife of Noble character [sic]. I knew she was quoting Proverbs 31 which gave me the impression there is a way God could use this show... yes, even the 'Bachelorette' as a way to bring him Glory. The first night I made her a Proverbs 31 bracelet then explained to her that I noticed what she said to Colton and I knew where it came from and how important my faith was to me. Shortly after that, I get the first impression rose."
He then brought up the hometown dates, where sources close to Parker previously claimed that he and Brown had lengthy discussions about religion and abstinence.
"On my hometown date I brought Hannah to a bible study with my college church group, where I shared my story of how God transformed my life and gave me a desire to live my life for him in obedience, that included waiting until marriage for sex. Hannah on the date, stands up and tells the group her story of how she was convicted to live a life in pursuit of Jesus," he wrote. "She also told them that she wasn’t going to use the fantasy suites for sex but for conversation, no matter how @abcnetwork made it look.I had to go back and fight for her, I believed in my heart she was making the biggest mistake of her life based on what she was telling me, I wanted her to know that we could get through this and I was here for her. #thebachelorette."