She's found love on The Bachelor with Richie Strahan, but she's also discovered one massive downside of reality TV fame.
Since filming wrapped on the dating show three months ago, Alex Nation, 25, has been enjoying some time with Strahan, 32, away from the cameras. The series finale, which aired this week, showed Strahan choosing Nation over fellow contestant Nikki Gogan — although he didn't opt for the usual Bachelor proposal, presenting Nation with a "promise" ring instead.
Now that the couple can go public with their romance (and fulfil their contractual promo duties, of course), they've had to deal with some pretty heavy criticism. Some fans labeled Strahan an "idiot" and an "asshole" for choosing Nation over Gogan. He was even accused of "ruining lives."
Another bone of contention for many is Nation's 5-year-old son, Elijah. On the show, Strahan's mother Kate expressed her concern about the "burden" being a stepparent would put on her son. But Strahan followed his heart and chose the Melbourne mum anyway.
To make matters worse, Ashy Smith, the girlfriend of Elijah's father, Nation's ex-husband Joel Porter, has stuck her oar in. While his mum is on her promo tour with Strahan, Elijah is staying with Porter and Smith.
Just days before the finale of the show, Smith posted cryptic Instagram messages (that have now been deleted and, um, may not actually have been so cryptic after all): "Too bad you are only a good mother on Facebook and the rest of the time you neglect your child," she wrote, adding, "Think this speaks volumes!!" and the hashtags #goodlucktoyou, #sosad and #growup.
Another post was a meme reading, "Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience. You are raising a human being. You cannot pick up and drop when it suits."
Porter regularly posts pictures of Smith with Elijah on his Instagram page. Clearly, they are close and she's an important person in his life.
Surely this means that whatever has gone on with Nation — and we can speculate all we want, but nobody knows the truth — the best thing Smith can do for that little boy is keep her mouth shut and her social media posts neutral. If Elijah has spent most of the last few months or weeks with his dad, what's the big deal? It can't be classed as child neglect in any shape or form. Porter is just as much his parent as Nation is, and attacking the Bachelor winner during her 15 minutes of fame only makes Smith look bitter (and perhaps a little jealous).
So far, Nation has kept a dignified silence in response to Smith's apparent digs. She has, however, posted a loved-up picture of herself with her new man along with a declaration of her love for him.
The couple revealed this week that Elijah hasn't yet been introduced to Strahan, with Nation saying she didn't see "any reason to rush into something like that." Anyone who slams her for that has never been a single parent. If Nation had taken a different tack and introduced her kid to her new boyfriend early on in the relationship, she'd no doubt face a barrage of criticism for that. She's basically in a no-win situation. But hey, welcome to the world of reality TV.
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