When Alex Nation revealed her new lesbian romance, no- one was more shocked than her Bachelor boyfriend Richie Strahan.
Devastated Richie has finally broken his silence on the stunning developments, which have left him heartbroken, refusing to eat and ‘crying a lot’ – telling friends that he was ‘completely blindsided’ by Alex’s controversial new relationship with her football teammate Maegan Luxa.
The 32-year-old rope technician had even put his Perth home on the market just days before the scandal broke, planning to relocate to Melbourne so he could move in with Alex and her young son.
‘Richie wanted nothing more than to settle down with Alex and her little boy,’ says a close friend of Richie’s. ‘He is a homebody who had started planning their own kids and a proper future.
‘He had no idea Alex had already started a relationship with a chick from footy. He still loves her – you can’t just turn real feelings off.’
Adds another good pal: ‘The only way to put this is that Rich is totally heartbroken – he really is shattered. He feels as though his world, dreams and hopes have come crashing down, literally overnight.
‘Never in his wildest dreams did he think he would open last week’s magazine to discover Alex is gay – the same girl who stood next to heaps of others fighting for him to choose her. He is actually in denial. It’s like he’s woken up to a nightmare.’
Friends say cracks first started to appear in their relationship back in February when Richie was forced to return to work in Perth – against Alex’s wishes – to earn money for their life together.
Planning to save for their future, Richie convinced Alex to continue their relationship long-distance between Melbourne and Perth until he built up a nest egg for them.
‘Richie was struggling financially at that time,’ says a friend. ‘He had taken a lot of time off work for filming commitments and then months more doing the publicity circuit with Alex. His diminishing bank balance had started to worry him.’
But desperate to keep in the spotlight, Alex was furious at having to attend glamorous events alone, and believed they only had one shot at becoming famous. However, Richie had other priorities – settling down with Alex.
‘He was never into the publicity side of things,’ says a friend. ‘He really did just want to find love.’
But, feeling bored and lonely in Melbourne, Alex and Richie drifted further apart and agreed to take a break in their relationship – but he never gave up hope that they’d reconcile as soon as he had saved enough money to move to Melbourne.
‘He was still hoping things might work out,’ says the source.
For the full story, see this week’s New Idea – Out now.
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