EXCLUSIVE - She's been called a maneater and a serial cheater, but what is The Bachelor's Courtney Robertson really like?
We tracked down two of her closest friends who agreed to dish the dirt and set the record straight.
Us Weekly has already cast doubt on the brunette beauty who was raised in Scottsdale and stars in the ABC reality show. The magazine asked if the 28-year-old is the "Meanest Contestant Ever?" in its February 6th issue.
So let's get down to the truth from Kate Brunst and Liz Hermansky, who grew up with Robertson in Arizona.
1. How did you and Courtney meet and how long have you been friends?
Kate: I met Courtney in elementary school, but we didn't become close until middle school. Our friendship only grew stronger over the last 15+ years and she is one of my FAVORITE people!
Liz: I met Courtney in the 6th grade and we have been friends for almost 15 years. We both tried out for cheer and made the squad, and became fast friends. We were very close for all of middle school and high school, and even after she moved to LA we have maintained a dear friendship.
2. How good of a best friend does she make ?
Kate: The best kind. She is kind, thoughtful, and one of the funniest people I know. Her laughter is contagious. She wants the best for her friends and she is always there when you need her.
Liz: Courtney is an amazing friend. She is caring and thoughtful and her positivity rubs off on those around her. She is honest and loyal, and supports her friends when they are going through a tough time. You can't help but have a great time when you are around her; she brings laughter and a smile to every situation. She is fun-loving, laid back, and is respectful and kind to everyone she meets. I can't say enough good things about Courtney. I am truly blessed to have her in my life.
3. How did she get her start in the modeling world?
Kate: We were in high school. She was scouted and she decided to go for it. I still have the article that was published in our neighborhood paper about her first shoot with Abercrombie & Fitch. Modeling suits her; she's a natural.
Liz: Modeling found Courtney, actually. She worked at Abercrombie & Fitch in high school and they chose her to model for their employee look book. During our senior year in high school, they flew her to Tortola to do the photo shoot. The photographer really liked her look, took extra photos of her, and sent them into Abercrombie. She was chosen for their next catalog, and the rest is history. Before graduating high school, she was already represented by a modeling agency and moved to LA soon after graduation to pursue her blossoming career.
4. She has been called a serial cheater, the meanest contestant ever, and a maneater, why do you think that is?
Kate: Courtney is not a mean-spirited person. The show might contradict that, but those who actually know her, know better. It is JUST a show, after all. Infidelity is not Courtney's style. If she is in a monogamous relationship, it is just that… monogamous. As far as Courtney being a "maneater," you're either the heartbreaker or the heartbroken. It's a crappy situation no matter which way you cut it.
Liz: Those hateful labels are completely false, and it is heartbreaking to watch your friend's reputation being slandered. Courtney is one of the most honest and loyal people you will ever meet, and there are "anonymous sources" out there trying to discredit her character. America loves the drama and the public is quick to believe the false gossip. The viewers have bought into how she is portrayed on the show, and the media is fueling the drama by only choosing to portray her in a negative light. Her family and friends have tried to stand up for her, and they are choosing not to print the positive things that we have to say. I spoke to US Weekly at length before the "maneater" article and gave them lots of positive information about Courtney's character, personality, sense of humor, and fun loving attitude. They chose to omit all the positive information, and instead used anonymous sources to continue to portray her in a negative light.
5. There's been a lot of talk about Cavan Clark, the photographer whose friends are claiming she cheated on him and/or dumped him to be on The Bachelor.
Kate: Courtney never cheated on Cavan. They had a great relationship while it lasted and she has nothing bad to say about their time together. They didn't work out. They had been broken up for months before she even decided to go on the show.
Liz: There is no truth to that. Courtney and Cavan had broken up long before she chose to go on The Bachelor. They had a great connection and had a lot of fun together. She still thinks very highly of him.
6. At least one report said actor Jesse Metcalfe thought she was using him when they dated.
Kate: She genuinely cared about Jesse. Their relationship was on and off for awhile, but when they
called it quits, they remained friends.
Liz: That is ridiculous; Courtney doesn't "use" anyone. I have never spoken to him, but I know that they ended amicably and have remained friends.
7. What do you think of claims she is a gold digger?
Kate: It's ridiculous. Courtney has never been out to find someone who can give her a lavish lifestyle. She is looking for love; real love. Does she want stability and security? Absolutely. I think any 28-year-old woman wants that.
Liz: Again, completely false. Courtney has been modeling for 10 years, and through her hard work she has created a successful, fulfilling career for herself. She does not need a man to support her financially and is not money driven whatsoever.
8. There are also claims Courtney has always had guys taking care of her.
Kate: In some cases, it could be quite the opposite. Mostly, she has had relationships where this is equal.
Liz: Courtney is an independent woman, and doesn't need to be "taken care of". She has been supporting herself since she was 19, and has never relied on a man financially.
9. In Touch Weekly reported she dumped Dylan Hall when she found out he was making less money than she thought.
Kate: This is my favorite- Courtney and Dylan were together for 3 years and living together for 2. It's astonishing that someone would make claims like this when they were sharing a life, a roof, and bills. She knew for 3 years what his financial situation was, but she loved him anyway. Sometimes relationships just don't work.
Liz: Courtney and Dylan's relationship ended because they grew apart. The breakup had nothing to do with how much money he made.
10. Chris Slawson, who is also originally from Arizona, seems to be her only ex-boyfriend standing up for her. Why do you think that is?
Kate: Chris and Courtney were a huge part of each other's lives. They went through a lot together, from teenage years into adulthood. He really knows her and that's why he is standing up for her. They care about each other and want the best for one another.
Liz: Chris was Courtney's first love and longest relationship. He is the most credible source on what kind of partner Courtney makes, as he dated her on and off for 7 years. He has nothing but wonderful things to say about her.
11. What do you think of the way she's been portrayed on the show?
Kate: I think it was in poor taste to create such a persona for ratings. The Bachelor is supposed to be a show about finding love, not a hate campaign. There is such conviction in the press calling Courtney "The Devil" or a "Succubus". Those are some serious statements, and very hurtful ones at that. The fact that she is being persecuted for things she said is ironic when her words pale in comparison to the media's portrayal of her. People need to take a step back and take a look at themselves before they start throwing stones. I will say, knowing her sense of humor, I found the majority of her comments hilarious. I guess a joke just doesn't have the same effect when taken out of context.
Liz: I think she has been really misunderstood on the show. She has a witty and sarcastic sense of humor, and often times that is coming across as catty. Anyone who knows her understands her humor and knows that she's not trying to be mean. She works in an extremely competitive industry, and she is assertive and confident. She is not one to let others walk all over her, and had a difficult time when the women called her names and treated her with disrespect.
12. Everyone's talking about the skinny dipping incident. Do you think she took it too far?
Kate: No! She was having fun and being spontaneous. They were laughing and just enjoying their time together. People don't have to agree with what they did (let's not forget that Courtney wasn't flying solo here), but it's not anyone's place to put limitations on Courtney and Ben's relationship.
Liz: No. Courtney is fun loving and strives to enjoy every moment. If she felt like skinny dipping with a guy she was dating while on a romantic vacation, why shouldn't she? I think America is just so surprised that she was brave enough to do it on national TV.
13. How does she feel about the way the press has been treating her? How is she getting through it?
Kate: She is upset about it, as anyone in her situation would be. She is handling it gracefully and with her chin up. She knows that her friends and family wholeheartedly support her.
Liz: This has been the most difficult time in her life. Could you imagine seeing yourself on magazine covers portrayed as an evil villain? Would you want paparazzi waiting outside your house to photograph your daily activities? Her strength is admirable and she has been taking the punches day by day. She tries to maintain a positive outlook and is thankful that her friends and family are supporting her during this rough time. She is hopeful for the day that she can move on and live
a normal life.
14. Why do you think Courtney did the show?
Kate: Well I think the obvious reason here would be to find love. I think it's a once in a lifetime experience. Hey, why not?
Liz: Courtney's only intention in going on The Bachelor was to try to find love. She is a true romantic and believes that the perfect man is out there for her. The Bachelor was a new avenue to try and find him. I got married in the end of June, and she attended my wedding without a date. She mentioned that she wanted the kind of relationship that my husband and I shared, and was ready to find her mate and settle down.
15. What do you think of the people who say she only did the show for the fame?
Kate: I'd say that they don't know her at all. She has been in the industry for 10 years. If she was truly looking to be famous, I'd imagine she would have done it before now. Being famous isn't on her list of life goals. Courtney legitimately enjoys her work.
Liz: Courtney does not want fame! She wants to find the man of her dreams, get married, eventually start a family, and live a normal life.
16. How did she tell you she was going on the show?
Kate: A mutual friend of ours was on the phone with her when she decided to break the news. We were avid fans of the show and were so excited for her opportunity to find love.
Liz: I actually first found out from Kate, but I was immediately excited for her. Any guy would be lucky to be with Courtney. She is an incredible woman and will make an amazing wife and mother.
17. Is she being fake on the show or is she being her true self?
Kate: One thing Courtney is not, is fake. I think that she was herself as much as she could be in that situation. Courtney is fun-loving and laughs a lot. So far, the show doesn't air much of that. She is completely herself with Ben though, nervousness and all.
Liz: It's amazing what they can do with editing. They seem to be really trying to make her the villain. By cutting her only as negative and catty, they are feeding America the drama. They film the women continuously for a week, and then cut it down to a two hour episode. They can pick and choose what clips they show, and attempt to make characters along the way. When you watch her with Ben, she is her true self. When she is alone with him, I see the same laid back, fun loving girl that her friends and family know and love.
18. Does Courtney get along with any of the other women in the house?
Kate: We all saw Casey S. come to her defense, so the answer is clearly yes.
Liz: Yes, Courtney did develop friendships with some of the women in the house. She said that she will be forever friends Casey S.
19. Has she told you about anything that goes on in the house when cameras aren't rolling?
Kate: I'm sure she has stories for days. Maybe I'll get to hear them when the show is wrapped.
20. Have you spoken to her since the show started airing?
Kate: I like to give her regular reminders of the amount of support she has.
Liz: Yes, I talk to her often and have tried to support her as the media is ruining her life.
21. Do you know any inside scoop about The Bachelor?
Kate: Wouldn't you like to know
22. Do you think Ben and Courtney are right for each other?
Kate: They seem like they would be a great fit for each other. They are both funny and lighthearted. Both are looking for love and commitment. It seems like they are on the same page. Plus, they have nothing but googley eyes for each other on their dates.
Liz: From watching the show, it really appears that they have amazing chemistry. They both have a wonderful sense of humor, and seem to have so much fun together. I love to watch her with him; she seems completely comfortable and happy around him. I think that they would be a great match.
23. After all this, do you think she regrets going on the show or do you think she would do it all over, again?
Kate: I don't think she regrets it. It was an experience, to say the least. Based on all the ‘kind' words in the media, I highly doubt she would do it over again.
Liz: I think she is going through too much to be able to reflect on that right now. She has mentioned that she wouldn't want any of her close friends to ever go through this.
24. There are only a few women left on The Bachelor. How far to do you think she'll go?
Kate: Who knows? I would hope that she was able to find love amongst all the craziness. I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Liz: We'll have to wait and see!
25. Is there anything else you wish everyone knew about Courtney that they don't already know or aren't seeing on the show?
Kate: Believe it or not, Courtney has a lot of love in her life! She has incredible friends and a wonderful family who support her and love her unconditionally. She is a human being with feelings, and they get hurt just like the next person.
Liz: Don't believe the negative things you see or hear about her.
She is kind, loving, respectful, and doesn't take herself too seriously. She is just a woman who went on a reality show to find love, and is the victim of Hollywood editing. Those who know her and love her will continue to stand by her during this difficult time in her life.