‘The Bachelorette’ alum Trista Rehn slams online trolls


The Bachelorette alum Trista Rehn has slammed trolls for accusing her husband Ryan Sutter of seeking attention with his Instagram posts about her absence around Mother’s Day.

Trista, 51, opened up about Ryan making headlines recently when she guest co-hosted the June 5 episode of “The Ben & Ashley I: Almost Famous Podcast” with former The Bachelor star Bob Guiney.


“While we were scheduling podcasts, all of a sudden… you were gone. All of a sudden, you were like, ‘I’m going to be gone. I’m going to be unavailable for this period of time.’ And I was like, ‘Hmm,'” Bob recalled to Trista.

“And then during that period of time, Ryan takes to the interweb to spew his feelings of longing, missing and loving his beautiful wife. And next thing you know, drama ensues!”

“Next thing you know, it’s a slow news day!” Trista quipped. “And it gets picked up by every freaking news outlet on the planet! I was like, ‘What happened?! Holy cow.'”

Trista acknowledged “it felt good to be missed and to be cared for,” but at the same time, “people make a lot of assumptions from one little thing!”

“As with everything, I feel like when it comes to social media or fans or followers, 99 percent of it is positive,” the Season 1 The Bachelorette star continued.

“I love all the people out there who were like, ‘We’re with you, we support you, we love you guys — and whatever is going on, that’s great, and you do you.'”

But then Trista noted how “of course” there were people who criticized Ryan for making fans worry about their relationship and her well-being. (Ryan had said he missed Trista and wished he could talk to her while she was “out of reach,” without providing any further explanation.)

“There’s of course the one percent who is like, ‘Oh, Ryan is doing this for attention.’ Clearly you don’t know my husband! That’s the last thing [he wants]!” Trista insisted.

“[People were like], ‘Why can’t you be private about it? Why can’t he just text you?’ And it’s like, have you ever heard of the term ‘shout it from the rooftop?’ He was shouting it from the rooftops! That’s something he is able to do on his own freaking page.”



Trista said Ryan just wanted to express himself “in a public way,” adding, “Usually, people don’t care about what we post. If they do, it’s a very minimal amount of people.”

“So he was posting like he always does, and he was shouting it from the rooftops that he loves me, essentially,” she explained.

“Gosh, the people who came out of the woodwork and were like, ‘You just want attention,’ I’m like, ‘You literally [are so wrong].'”

Bob agreed that Ryan has no desire to be in the spotlight, nor does he crave attention.

“Exactly,” Trista noted.

Bob pointed out that while he still didn’t know where Trista was around Mother’s Day, he has his suspicions.

“I will share it as soon as I possibly can but, yeah, life is crazy right now,” Trista promised.

When Bob hinted that he really wanted to know where Trista had disappeared to and how that time away from her family — including son Maxwell, 16, and daughter Blakesley, 14 — affected her, Trista teased that she’ll share that information in due time.

“It’s summertime right now with two teenagers who need to get jobs and get ready for their junior and sophomore years. It’s crazy. And we’re continuing to do stuff to the house,” Trista said, explaining why her life is currently crazy.

“Anyway, life is good. The moral of the story is life is good. Ryan and I are very happy. We just came back from a family vacation in Mexico that was really fun. It was awesome,” she concluded.

Late last month, Trista took to Instagram to assure fans that she was fine and her relationship with Ryan was still thriving.

“Geez people. Can’t a girl have a nervous breakdown/trial separation/midlife crisis/death/divorce in peace around here?!” Trista joked in the caption of a happy family photo.

“In all seriousness, for those concerned, I’m safe and sound, happy and healthy, in love and grateful. For those who’d rather focus on being critical and searching way too hard for darkness, good luck with that.”

In terms of her whereabouts recently, Trista wrote, “An opportunity for perspective and personal growth presented itself and with the unconditional support of my family and friends, I chose myself and betterment, knowing that my stay-at-home-mom job and my kids end-of-the-school-year needs were in the best, most capable hands.”

Over the weekend of May 18, Ryan had uploaded a cryptic post on Instagram suggesting there was something wrong with Trista and that he was missing her, which many fans interpreted to mean that Trista had suddenly died or they decided to separate.

After fans expressed their concern or complained about how Ryan’s post was misleading and in poor taste, Ryan took to Instagram again to assure his followers that while Trista was, in fact, “inaccessible,” she was doing just “fine” and their relationship was “great.”

Ryan — who hasn’t starred on reality TV since The Bachelorette’s first season aired in 2003 — then admitted on May 22 that his family making headlines again “felt good” because it showed him that people wonder about them.


In Trista’s May 25 post, she defended her husband for choosing to share his feelings with fans about her soul-searching opportunity on social media.

“My stoic husband who usually chooses privacy over posting, decided to share his love for me in messages that would find me in my travels. We look at Instagram like a digital diary,” Trista explained.

“Most of the time, the world doesn’t pay too much attention. This time, he couldn’t say anything right and just about every news outlet picked up his ‘cryptic/confusing/attention-seeking/dramatic’ pictures and captions.”

Trista insisted, however, that Ryan’s sweet words to her on Instagram helped her through a difficult time.

“To me, they gave me exactly what my Words of Affirmation love language needed to get me through some serious self doubt and fear… and that’s all that matters,” Trista noted in her post.

“He doesn’t owe anyone any explanation or require permission to post what he wants to post and share what he wants to share. If you want to know the rest of the story, I will share in due time.”

In Ryan’s initial post, his first of three regarding Trista’s condition, Ryan had written, “I really wish I could talk to you. Ask you how you’re doing? How was your day. I’d really like to hear your voice — just for a minute.”

“So many times I’ve called without much to say, not realizing how lucky I was or how much I’d miss the opportunity if it were gone,” he elaborated.

“I want to support and encourage and cheer you on. I want to be there for you. But I can’t. And that’s ok cause I know you need this time — time to discover yourself again. So I’ll be here for you instead. I’ll be here when you get back… I’ll be here to love you.”

“What’s going on[?] Are they separated having problems?” one person asked.

“Did Trista die? Omg,” another person wrote.

“This sounds like a treatment situation,” an Instagram user commented. “They take your phones for a week or so.”

And another person scolded Ryan for his initial post, writing, “Ryan I say this with love but a post like this is irresponsible. Everyone immediately panicked. Please just be aware of the message your sending.

In a follow-up Instagram post, Ryan insisted he never meant to “deceive or mislead anyone” and he was just trying to share his thoughts on social media.

“Trista is fine. We are fine. We’re great,” The Bachelorette alum clarified.

“Trista is at a place in life where she is searching a bit. An opportunity presented itself that may help her on that quest. With her family’s support, she has taken it. Part of that process means that she is temporarily inaccessible to us. I miss her.”

Days later, Ryan called all of fans’ guesses “creative ideas,” but he confirmed that none of them were accurate.

Ryan wrote on May 22, “Some thought I was intentionally misleading people in order to somehow benefit from it? It got picked up on entertainment news sites and I started getting texts from friends asking if I was ok. All because I missed my wife and chose to share how that felt.”

“It felt weird to wear the clothes of past fame once again, even if only briefly,” he admitted.

“It reminded me of how crazy life was and of how grateful I am for the life I have. But, to be honest, it also felt good to know people still cared, and worried and wondered.”

Trista — who found fame when she competed on Alex Michel’s season of The Bachelor in 2002 — chose Ryan at the final Rose Ceremony of her The Bachelorette season over runner-up Charlie Maher.

Ryan proposed marriage to Trista on The Bachelorette’s first-season finale, which aired on ABC in February 2003 and drew over 30 million viewers.

Trista, a former Dancing with the Stars and Fear Factor contestant, changed her last name from Rehn to Sutter when she married Ryan in December 2003.

Trista & Ryan’s Wedding’s two-hour finale — which featured the couple’s wedding ceremony and reception at the Lodge in Rancho Mirage resort in Palm Springs, CA — drew over 17 million viewers when it aired on ABC on December 10, 2003.

Trista and Ryan welcomed Maxwell in July 2007 followed by Blakesley in April 2009.


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About The Author:
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski

Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.

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