Since landing the coveted role of the Bachelorette, Ali Oetjen has been inundated with hate.
She's been branded a cheater and a liar, as thousands of fans demanded she have the opportunity to look for love on the show revoked.
Why? Because of the shocking allegations made by her Bachelor In Paradise, ex Grant Kemp that she'd cheated on him at his home while he was outside, just metres away.
And while the Adelaide marketing manager stayed silent throughout the media storm that surrounded her, Ali, 32, tells NW that behind the scenes, her whole world was falling apart.
"I was physically, mentally and emotionally broken," she reveals, confessing that that period of her life was one of the darkest ever. "But I knew I would never give up on love."
And so she went on the best rebound ever, smooching her way through single dates and rose ceremonies with a crop of Australia's hunkiest Bachelors, and ultimately "properly finding the love of my life".
Through moments of tears – and laughs! – Ali spills on how she mended her heart after Grant, and how her new man will protect her from her ex "who just won't go away".
Ali, Grant has been vocal about your break-up, insisting that you don't deserve this opportunity...
"We all have those exes that don't go away, don't we? Definitely without a doubt, Grant was a waste of my time. He just wasn't the person he said he was. And yes, it was disappointing and crushing, but I learnt from this."
How did you have the guts to go through it all over again?
"It has taken a lot of courage for me to do it and put myself out there. I don't hold back – I put my heart on my sleeve, and it was a case of, "OK, I'm going to put myself out there and be vulnerable again and properly find the love of my life." Or I'm not. I think the fear of not doing it scared me more."
You jumped into this soon after a break-up. Were you ready?
"I was more than ready. I wouldn't have done it if I wasn't. I wrote lists of what I was looking for, and was in a very clear and focused head space because I was not going to let anyone taint my view on what I was looking for. I will never give up on love."
The Bachelorette Australia premieres at 7.30pm on Wednesday 10 October on Network Ten
For more Bachelor gossip and exclusives, pick up a copy of this week's NW magazine.
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