Jade Roper says she is proud of her best friend and maid of honor, Liz Sandoz, after her short-lived stint on The Bachelor. Sandoz, who had a previous hookup with Nick Viall after meeting him at Jade’s wedding to Tanner Tolbert, was eliminated from the ABC reality show in Week 2, but not before making sure the other contestants knew about her intimate connection to The Bachelor star.
After Sandoz was slammed on social media for using Jade and Tanner’s wedding as a way to find reality TV fame, Jade Roper defended her best friend.
“I respect Liz for what she said during her ‘break up,’” Roper tweeted. “Very brave and very vulnerable.”
Roper is referring to her pal’s faux “break up” with Nick during a group date to The Museum of Broken Relationships in Los Angeles, a place that houses the ill-fated engagement ring Viall picked out for Kaitlyn Bristowe when he was on The Bachelorette.
But Jade’s bestie pretty much sealed her fate when she told Nick she hopes he finds “the girl that you’re willing to fight for that you will fight for her in a way that I wish that you would have fought for me” in front of the other contestants on the group date to the museum.
“I’m living my nightmare,” The Bachelor star said.
Of course, things were awkward between the two from the get-go. Sandoz blindsided Viall when she turned up on his season of The Bachelor nine months after they had a one-night stand at Jade and Tanner’s wedding. She later confided in cast mate Christen, telling her, “I’ve been carrying around a secret — I met Nick at Jade and Tanner’s wedding, and we had sex.”
The Las Vegas doula described the “super awkward” encounter that consisted of “intermittent sex and talk” fueled by “a lot of alcohol.” After the fling, Roper’s maid of honor declined to give Nick her phone number. When she came face-to-face with him nine months later on the show, she explained.
“Maybe you asked for my phone number, but I didn’t really know you. And that’s why I’m here, because I want that opportunity. You were off shooting Paradise and doing your own thing…I knew you had stuff going on. I don’t like phone conversations if I already have an established relationship with somebody.”
While Liz refused to give Nick her number, Jade Roper told Entertainment Tonight he could have tried to contact her bestie after their rendezvous.
“She really did have an interest in Nick and she went there to see if there was anything and I totally support her,” Jade told ET. “I know the whole situation is awkward, but I’ll say I’m a little disappointed. He could’ve gotten her number, too…She tried to invite him to charity events, but he rejected [her invitations].”
In an interview with Hollywood Life, Jade Roper said she fully supported her friend for putting herself out there to try to find out what could have been, despite the fact that she didn’t exactly follow her advice.
“I talked to that girl probably like five times and told her what she needed to do, because I never had any advice and I learned a lot,” Roper told Hollywood Life.
“I don’t think she followed my advice. I told her to not talk about their past or whatever you want to call it so early. She is really a great person, and I wanted her to have a fair chance and for people to see that, and I wanted her to have at least a chance with Nick. I feel like it just got really awkward and things kind of unraveled but I am really proud of her.”
Jade also clarified her comment that her BFF had tried to reach out to her fling before blindsiding him on The Bachelor.
“She had a charity event in Kansas City that we did, and she wanted me to invite Nick,” Roper said. “I reached out to Nick and told him that he should come, and he was like ‘I have something in the works.’ He didn’t know if he could make it and he couldn’t.”
Like many fans of the show, Viall wondered out loud if Liz just used her past with him as a way to get on TV. While he admitted he was intrigued by her, the two-time Bachelorette runner-up finally concluded that the more he talks to her, “the less she makes sense.” (You can see the clip below.)
Despite all of the drama, Roper took to Twitter to assure fans that she encouraged her pal to find love—or closure—with Viall.
“I encouraged her to go on when I found out she wanted to pursue a second chance with Nick,” Roper wrote. “No what-if’s left before he finds his wife.”
Jade also wrote that “it takes two to tango” and warned haters not to tweet her with mean comments about her childhood pal.
“She’s still my best friend and the closest thing I have to a sister,” Roper wrote.
And while she’s “disappointed” in how things went down, Jade Roper revealed that she is not mad at Nick and that she is excited for his “journey” to find a wife.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
[Featured Image by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Leisure Opportunities]