What could have been? Before her stint as the Bachelorette, Gabby Windey tried to pursue another member of Bachelor Nation.
“I know Ben Higgins is somewhere on the premises and I need to tell everybody that I slid into his DMs,” Windey, 32, said during a teaser for her joint interview with Rachel Recchia on Ashley Iaconetti’s “Almost Famous” podcast. “I’ve got to get it off my chest.”
The 35-year-old Bachelor in Paradise alum — who helms her “Almost Famous” podcast with former Bachelor Higgins — had previewed the interview and Windey’s confession via her Instagram Story on Saturday, May 20.
The season 19 co-Bachelorettes and Iaconetti were among the reality TV stars who reunited over the weekend in California.
“Wonderful weekend reconnecting with old friends and making new ones,” former show host Chris Harrison wrote via his Instagram Stories on Saturday. “And recording a few podcasts … @iheartradio @themostdramaticpodever.”
Harrison, 51, uploaded footage of himself enjoying a meal with fiancée Lauren Zima, Higgins, 34, Iaconetti, Windey, Recchia, 27, Clare Crawley and husband Ryan Dawkins, Zach Shallcross and fiancée Kaity Biggar, and Andrew Firestone.
Iaconetti and Higgins, for their part, welcomed the Dancing With the Stars alum, Recchia and Crawley, 42, to film episodes of their podcast, though no further details — including the Indiana native’s reaction to Windey’s DM reveal — have been shared. The former Denver Broncos cheerleader also did not reveal when she messaged Higgins.
Windey and Recchia served as the leads of The Bachelorette in 2022. They got engaged to Erich Schwer and Tino Franco, respectively, but both couples have since called it quits.
“I do truly think it was compatibility. Dancing [With the Stars] does take up a lot of your time, but I feel like our time together was never really limited. We would still see each other afterward,” Windey exclusively told Us Weekly in December 2022 of what led to her breakup. “Luckily, we were able to live in the same place, so, I think, truly, it was just getting to know the relationship in-person because we were long-distance and before that kind of in a bubble [while The Bachelorette was airing]. Sometimes you don’t always know the questions to ask or it’s up to the other person to really know themselves and bring forth their truth. So I think it was a lot of getting to know each other in real life.”
Schwer, 30, has since moved on with Elizabeth Turner, while Windey has been candid about navigating the dating world post-show.
Higgins, for his part, served as the season 20 lead in 2016 after being sent home from Kaitlyn Bristowe’s season of The Bachelorette. After calling off his engagement to Lauren Bushnell Lane, Higgins found love with Jessica Clarke after sliding into her Instagram DMs.
“She watched one episode [of] my season when she was in college, and her mom claims that Jessica walked in the room and [said], ‘I could date that guy,’” the Bachelor Winter Games alum, who wed his spouse in November 2021, told Us in August 2022. “Her mom said that was shocking because Jessica never spoke like that. Like, [she] never spoke openly about who she was into or what she’s into.”
After the Generous Coffee founder sent his message, Clarke’s mom encouraged her to reply. “Her mom was like, ‘Whoa, that’s … a weird [full] circle moment,’” he recalled to Us. “[She said], ‘You should message him back. See what happens.’ And then we’re married.”