One year after Rachel Recchia and Tino Franco split over infidelity, he is reflecting on what went wrong.
“The ball wasn’t in my court and I got slammed. I took an ass-whooping on national TV,” Franco, 29, said during a Saturday, September 23, interview on the “Dave Neal Show” on YouTube. “Which is fine because that’s how I was raised. You do something lame, you get your ass whipped, you pick back up and you keep going. Take your punishment!”
Franco appeared on Recchia’s season 19 of The Bachelorette, which she led alongside Gabby Windey. Franco received both Recchia’s first impression rose and her final rose. During the season finale, which aired in September 2022, Franco proposed. Weeks later, Recchia, 27, and Franco took time apart. During that window — in which Franco alleged that Recchia had returned her Neil Lane engagement ring — he made out with another woman at a bar.
“It was less of me thinking we were on a break because if I definitively thought we were on break, I did nothing wrong or nothing uncool, I wouldn’t have told her,” he explained on Saturday, which was his first interview since his ABC contract expired. “I didn’t know if what I did was wrong or not, but I really felt [that] what I did wasn’t cool and I think I should tell her because she did stuff during the season but I knew about all that.”
Franco continued: “I felt like to move forward with a clean slate and really build this future with her, it was the right thing to do. Now, I still stand by that. Like, if we were going to build a future together, I think that was a good idea to tell her.”
Franco noted that he wasn’t sure if his behavior counted as cheating because Recchia had already returned the engagement ring after a weeklong “space break” at the time of the infamous kiss.
Franco now sees his behavior as “toxic” because he should have taken the time to heal before diving into a new fling less than one week after a breakup.
“I see why it happened now,” he told host Dave Neal, attributing his growth to therapy. “Not excusing it [because] it was dumb to do, like, I should have gone [and] hid under a rock for two months.”
After he came clean to Recchia about the kiss, she ended their engagement for good.
Franco has been single since his Bachelor Nation breakup, while Recchia is ready to try again to find The One. The pilot instructor joined Bachelor in Paradise season 9, which premieres on Thursday, September 28.
“She’s perfect for somebody, it’s just not me. I really think she will be an excellent partner to somebody else,” Franco noted on Saturday, betting Recchia would likely meet her ideal partner “in a couple of years when she’s a little bit further removed from the public eye.”
Franco, for his part, then speculated that the odds of him joining BiP were “probably zero,” unless they offered him a ton of money. “I’d be like, ‘S–t on me, whatever,’” he said, noting his paycheck would need to be more than $35,000.