Katie Thurston is reportedly dating former Bachelorette contestant John Hersey following her split from fiance Blake Moynes. The duo sparked romance rumors after the former paired John with Taylor Swift’s song Begin Again while doing the “12 Days of Messy” trend on Instagram.
As part of the trend, Katie dedicated one song from Taylor Swift’s Red to each Bachelorette contestant from her season. On the final day of the challenge, she posted several video montages with John, including a clip of their first meeting.
Katie also used suggestive lyrics from Begin Again as the caption over the footage:
"I've been spending the last eight months / Thinking all love ever does is break and burn and end / But on a Wednesday in a café, I watched it begin again."
The lyrics led to fans speculating about Katie Thurston’s new beginning with John. Sources close to the pair later confirmed their relationship in a statement to People:
"It's known Katie and John became close friends post-season. John has been there for her through all the major changes in her life and they are excited to explore this newly found romantic connection."
John Hersey and Katie Thurston hit it off right after meeting at the beginning of Bachelorette Season 17. However, the latter chose Blake Moynes as her partner and the duo got engaged in the finale.
Katie and Blake parted ways just two months after their engagement and officially called it quits in October. According to Page Six, the latter reportedly unfollowed his ex on Instagram amid her latest romance rumors with John.
Meet Katie Thurston’s new beau, John Hersey
John Alex Hersey appeared on the 17th season of The Bachelorette and left Katie Thurston impressed on the first episode of the show. Shortly after their meeting, the latter announced that he was her “type”:
"Yeah, that’s my type. I think that's my type. Did he hear me? I don't know. Play it cool."
Unfortunately, John was eliminated on the second week of the show after Katie decided to send him back home. However, the pair became great friends off-camera, and their friendship has now blossomed into a romance.
John was born on December 22, 1993, in California. He is an aspiring pilot and is training to receive his pilot license. He graduated from the University of California with a Bachelor of Science degree in marine biology.
He currently works as a bartender in California and often engages in thrilling activities like surfing, hot air balloon rides and skydiving. As per his bio on The Bachelorette, John values faithfulness, honesty and mutual respect:
"He has very little tolerance for anyone being unfaithful or dishonest and says that his one major dealbreaker is when someone treats another disrespectfully."
John is also a vegetarian and has a beloved Italian greyhound called Dexter, frequently appearing on his social media.
Following the latest dating rumors, inside sources told Page Six that Katie Thurston realized John Hersey was her ideal match compared to all the other men she came across on the show:
“She finally came to realize that John is a better fit than anyone else she met on the show. She told producers at the beginning of her season that John caught her eye and she regrets that she got distracted by the other men along the way. But she’s hopeful they can start a new chapter off-camera. She’s smitten.”
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John Hersey and Katie Thurston are reportedly set to attend their mutual friend Stephen Lovegrove’s Noelle Ball together on December 2.