For the first time following his breakup with The Bachelorette star Rachel Recchia, 26, Tino Franco, 28, opened up to former Bachelor star Nick Viall, 42, about his regrets. “I absolutely regret it. And I’ll say it a million times, it was the biggest mistake of my life,” Tino said during the Oct. 20 episode of The Viall Files podcast. “I’m definitely not on Team Cheater,” he continued. “Like, I do not stand by what I did at all. It was not cool. It wasn’t fair to Rachel, and it haunts me daily still. It’s something I’m ashamed of and certainly wish I could have done it differently like a million times over.”
When Tino reflected on the start of their relationship, he told Nick how well he and Rachel were making their long-distance relationship work. “We just communicated so well in the beginning and we fit the bill of making that situation the best we could for a long time,” he shared. The TV star also revealed that he and the blonde beauty would have conversations that would “get elevated” but that it “doesn’t give you any excuse to act out.” Tino then added that he wished he could have done things differently.
While taking accountability for his actions Tino touched upon the engagement ring drama that he and Rachel also talked about during After The Final Rose. “We weren’t on a break,” Tino said about their relationship status at the time. “I don’t know where that came from. We were not separated or anything like that. When I acted out, I felt like maybe we were starting to check out and we were just in a really dark place. It’s hard to describe because, even looking back on it, it takes me to a place where I really wish I just didn’t do that or didn’t act out.”
After Nick got Tino to open up more, he then asked him about the moments that led him to kiss someone that wasn’t Rachel. “I was feeling a little in the dumps. It was another one of those we were giving each other space things so we hadn’t talked in a couple days,” Tino said. “I was getting attention. It sucks for me to have to say this ’cause it’s so shameful and I’m so not proud of it. I just kind of gave in. I just leaned in and we kissed. And that wasn’t fair to that girl either. That wasn’t considerate of her feelings at all. She doesn’t want to be wrapped up in any of this. I did it and I realized really quick, ‘I don’t know what the future holds for me or Rachel, but I know this is not who I am and this is not what I should be doing.’”
Rachel and Tino got engaged during the Season 19 finale of The Bachelorette. The engagement was filmed back in May but officially aired on Sept. 20. When Rachel went into her final rose ceremony Tino was the only man left, as she had just eliminated Aven Jones and Zach Shallcross opted to exit the show. During the After the Final Rose episode, Rachel revealed why they broke up.
“Throughout it all, I feel like I always tried,” she said. “All I wanted out of a partner was someone who was going to stand next to me and support me. Around that time, I wasn’t feeling that support. If I’m not feeling it, I probably wasn’t giving it, as well. We took some time and tried to figure it out and how to move forward, and for the most part, I thought we were at such a great place, but it didn’t turn out that way.”