Former Bachelorette star Gabby Windey has claimed that producers wouldn’t let her dye her hair while she was on the show.
The 32-year-old reality star, who is currently a blonde, recently spoke about her lead stint on ABC’s The Bachelorette during an episode of the Just B With Bethenny Frankel podcast. During the episode, which aired on 30 August, she claimed that while on the reality dating series, producers were insistent on keeping her as a brunette.
“They wouldn’t let me dye my hair while we were filming,” she said. “I got highlights before I was the Bachelorette, and they sent in a team at the last second to take me back [to] dark.”
Windey alleged that when producers had dyed her hair back to brown, she spoke out against it. “I was crying on the phone, screaming at a producer. I’m like, ‘I should have free will!’” she recalled.
When podcast host Frankel joked that the former Bachelorette “identified as multi-coloured hair person,” Windey agreed, before praising the opportunities she now has to dye her hair as she pleases.
“Yes. I want the room to have whatever kind of hair I want. I’ll always change it,” she said.
Earlier in the episode, Windey noted that while she’s “newly blonde,” she had light hair before starring in The Bachelor franchise, which she first joined as a contestant for Clayton Echard’s season in 2022.
“Well, I was a blonde before The Bachelor, but in quarantine, I wanted to try something different,” she said, noting how she dyed her hair brunette during lockdown. “So, now that I’m going back to blonde, it’s like a controversy online. People love to talk about it, but this is like my natural state.”
When Frankel asked why the hair change was so controversial, Windey alleged that people thought she dyed her hair blonde because she moved to Los Angeles, California, and claimed that critics told her: “Don’t be a basic LA b****.”
However, she went on to express that she’s now embracing the person she is.
“First of all, I am what I am. I am as basic as they come. It’s not LA. It’s deep in my soul,” Windey quipped. The reality star also claimed that fans have become “really attached” to her after her rise to fame, which she believes is the reason why they’re “attached” to the brown hair she had while on The Bachelorette.
The reality star’s comments about the Bachelor franchise - which consists of hit reality dating series such as The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise - come weeks after she revealed that she’s dating a woman. Windey made the relationship announcement on Instagram earlier this month, where she shared photos of her girlfriend - writer and comedian Robby Hoffman - along with the caption: “Told you I’m a girl’s girl!”
On her Instagram Story at the time, Windey acknowledged that while she loves to “stir the pot and tease,” she wanted to wait until she was ready to share the news. Windey said that their romance has been “truly the best experience over these last three months” and that she feels like her relationship is unlike any others she’s been in before.
Windey also opened up about her relationship in an episode of The View, which aired on 2 August. When co-host Sunny Hostin described the Bachelorette’s announcement about her sexuality as “a twist,” the reality star noted that even she didn’t see it coming.
“I think, you know, when this happens, there’s some shame, obviously, surrounding it,” Windey explained. “So I think I had to, a little bit, navigate through the shame, like, what is it? Where is it coming from? But ultimately, like I said, I always just want to kind of like, do me, do what I want, figure it out later.”
Co-host Joy Behar then asked Windey if she was mainly interested in women, to which she responded: “I think so, I think it’s just like, my girl.”
After starring in season 26 of The Bachelor, Windey returned to the franchise as co-lead for Season 19 of The Bachelorette alongside Rachel Recchia. In the season finale, Windey walked away engaged to Erich Schwer, but the couple later announced their breakup a few months after the season aired.
During her appearance on Just B With Bethenny Frankel, Windey also shared that since debuting her new relationship, she hasn’t heard from any of her exes, including Schwer.
“Nothing, not a peep, haven’t heard a word,” she said. “Yeah, from, like, a lot of my previous ex-boyfriends, I haven’t heard anything.”
She shared why she believed that none of her previous partners have reached out, claiming: “I think either they’re all taking it personally or, I have noticed, that… [no one] is texting me directly, whereas [on] Dancing With the Stars or TheBachelor or TheBachelorette, my phone would blow up after anything.”
The Independent has contacted ABC for comment.