'Bachelor' Stars Ben Higgins & Lauren Bushnell Call It Quits

Another "Bachelor" couple has reportedly split. According to People, Ben Higgins and Lauren Bushnell won't be walking down the aisle after all.

On Monday, a little more than a year after getting engaged on the show's Season 20 finale, the former couple told the mag in a joint statement that they've called it quits. 

"It is with heavy hearts that we announce our decision to go our separate ways," the statement read. "We feel fortunate for the time we had together, and will remain friends with much love and respect for one another. We wish nothing but the best for each other, and ask for your support and understanding at this time."

Lauren and Ben from 'The Bachelor'

(ABC)

Ben proposed to Lauren amid controversy that he had said "I love you" on camera to both her and runner-up JoJo Fletcher, who went on to star in "The Bachelorette."

The 29-year-old told Access Hollywood's Scott Evans in a joint interview with Lauren last year that he didn't regret showcasing his conflicting emotions so candidly.

"I don't know of any 'Bachelor' rules," Ben said at the time. "Nobody gave me that rulebook before we started, and nobody told me what I could and couldn't do. There's a few things I said at the beginning that I said I wanted to do. I want to be honest, I want to be open. I want to be vulnerable, and be myself."

Lauren had doubts she'd find true love on the reality hit, telling Access that she instead expected to just make a few friendships while having fun along the way.

"I was very skeptical, personally," Lauren said of her pre-"Bachelor" attitude. "I mean, I was there for Ben, but to me, from like a logical standpoint, it just didn't compute that I would meet him, I would fall in love with him, he would fall in love with me back, and we would get engaged. That didn't even occur to me."

Following their engagement, Ben and Lauren appeared together on the Freeform reality series "Ben and Lauren: Happily Ever After?"

Happy birthday babe!!!!! I'm so thankful for this life together. Although sometimes rocky you always hold my hand and support me through it, always with a smile on your face. You deserve the world, especially today. ????????

A post shared by Lauren Bushnell (@laurenbushnell) on

The now-exes have been absent on each other's social media pages for the past few weeks. In March, Lauren honored Ben's birthday with an Instagram tribute which some thought may have hinted at trouble.

"I'm so thankful for this life together. Although sometimes rocky you always hold my hand and support me through it, always with a smile on your face. You deserve the world, especially today," she wrote at the time, captioning a photo of her and Ben posing together at a stable.

Access Hollywood has reached out to Ben and Lauren for comment. 

-- Erin Biglow

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