The Bachelorette's Emily Maynard & Jef Holm's 'Heartbreaking' Split

After weeks of speculation and rumors of relationship woes, “The Bachelorette’s” Emily Maynard and Jef Holm have ended their engagement.

“I am sorry to tell you that Jef and I have, indeed, parted ways,” Emily said in a statement. “It was a very difficult and heartbreaking decision.

“As you know, at first I wasn’t sure that I should even be ‘The Bachelorette,’ but I am a hopeless romantic and I do believe in the show. I have no regrets because I did find love and shared an incredible journey with a really special person – and you know what, we tried our best because the love between us was so real,” the 26-year-old single mom continued.

Emily and Jef appear to have ended their engagement on amicable terms
“I have nothing but respect and love for Jef and his family, but ultimately we are just at different points in our lives,” she added. “I’ve learned so much and I’m grateful for all of the support I’ve received. I’m excited and hopeful for the next chapter in my life with my daughter, Ricki. I do hope that you will respect our privacy and allow us the time we need to heal.”

Jef also spoke out about their split.

“Meeting Emily on ‘The Bachelorette’ was an incredible experience, we’ve had quite the journey. I’ve never loved someone so much in my whole life, Emily is the best person and mom I have ever met. She opened up her world to me and I fell in love with her, [her daughter] Ricki, her family and the Hendricks,” the 28-year-old said in a statement. “She has a great group of people who surround her. What we shared was completely genuine and real and it breaks my heart but we have decided to break up.

“Emily will always have a special place in my heart. I don’t regret a single second I spent with her or Ricki. They both have been a huge part of my life. Who knows what tomorrow will bring but we are moving on to the next chapter of our lives,” he continued.

Adding, “Emily and I are great friends and I hope we can continue to be friends forever. Everyone wants a salacious story to break, but the truth is we are just two people who fell in love and tried our hardest to make it work. I will always love her.”

In July, the reality star opened up to Access about her relationship with her then-fiance.

“I feel like Jef and I bring out the best in each other and he is just like my best friend. We talk about everything, we communicate better than I have with anybody in my whole life. I feel more comfortable around him,” Emily, who was previously engaged to Brad Womack after appearing on season 15 of “The Bachelor,” told Access at the time. “I never would have gotten engaged unless I felt it was different. I feel so confident in what we have.”

-- Jesse Spero

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.