Jason Mesnick: The explaining begins ... and ends
(See updates below) The Bachelor star Jason Mesnick has been getting rotten Internet fruit thrown at his head since Monday night, when in front of some 17 million people he broke up with the woman he picked on the show's finale, Melissa Rycroft, and asked for another shot with runner-up Molly Malaney.
Having done that on Monday's "After the Final Rose" special, and explained what happened Tuesday on "After the Final Rose, Part 2," Mesnick and Malaney now have to face the press gauntlet. He explains that he told Rycroft over the phone that he wanted to end things about a week before "After the Final Rose" taped in January, but he wasn't sure what would happen on the show.
"Her response had been, 'How do you want me to react to that?' I wasn't going to coach her," he says. "I just told her that we were going to talk about things again [on the show] and however she felt is how she was going to react. I'm never going to tell anyone what to say."
He also notes that "It sucks that everyone thinks I'm dragging Melissa over the coals right in front of everybody because it's not true."
The full interview is at the LA Times Showtracker. Mesnick and Malaney are also doing a conference call with reporters today; we'll report back with any new details.
UPDATE: It's a good thing our colleague Denise Martin got to Mesnick yesterday, because ABC has cancelled the call with him and Malaney that was scheduled for later today. "Due to last minute schedule changes, the happy couple will be unable to do this conference call," an e-mail from the network reads.
Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss will be on the call instead -- which is probably making a fair number of reporters grumble right about now.