Woof, it all blew up on Wednesday night’s episode of Married At First Sight, where the hot-button topic of the dinner party was Bryce Ruthven being quizzed on whether or not he has a secret girlfriend outside of the show.
At the party, Bryce confronts fellow contestant Beck Zemek to vehemently deny the allegations, and drag everyone else into the argument with him while deeply embarrassing his MAFS wife, Melissa Rawson. Classic Bryce move, there.
It’s all a big bloody mess at this point, and you can read about that confrontation in our episode recap, but here’s everything we do know, so far.
Apparently, Bryce had a secret girlfriend in Canberra during filming for the show late last year, or so says Beck, as well as Big Brother star Jason Roses, a February episode of So Dramatic! and a Woman’s Day production source.
Speaking to TV Week in March, Beck revealed that the goss about “a girl on the outside” is due to be unveiled during a dinner party.
“He was seeing a girl and his mate asked him if he wanted to get her a gift,” she said.
“He told me, in the gym, this information, along with telling me that he placed me first on the hottest/nottest little rating, as well as telling me that it would be easy enough to get to the end of the experiment with Melissa.”
She then heard a rumour about the secret gf at the dinner party, and gave Bryce the opportunity to talk to Melissa. When he didn’t tell Melissa what he’d told Beck, Beck had a go at him in front of everyone.
“Every time I go up against Bryce I actually shake, but it’s more out of frustration,” she said.
“Obviously going against a male isn’t the ideal position you want to put yourself in. Yet just seeing Mel in the relationship with Bryce and knowing the facts gave me the confidence to call him out on his crap.”
Bryce denied the secret gf rumour to TV Week. “It’s news to me,” he said. “I was only in the ACT for 12 weeks so I must have been having a good time.
“To be honest, I know there’s articles and podcasts and other rubbish floating around but I’m just not reading it.”
Melissa Rawson told TV Week she was nervous about the secret gf rumour, but chose to believe her TV husband.
“With Bryce’s cheating past, I had to think ‘could this be true?” she said. “I got over that because I put my trust in Bryce.”
Talking on TV Blackbox’s The Anj, Rob & Robbo Show in February, Jason Roses admitted that he accidentally told producers at Bryce’s TV wedding about Bryce’s secret gf back in Canberra, when he didn’t think he was being filmed.
The rumours made their way through the cast, but Bryce denied them throughout the series. That is until Jason’s statements were played back on the reunion episode.
“What I said was now shown to the entire cast of Married At First Sight,” Jason told The Anj, Rob & Robbo Show.
“It was at the reunion, and they’ve basically said, ‘Bryce, if you think you’re telling the truth, this is what your friend had to say in secret.’”
So Dramatic! host Megan Pustetto confirmed these stories, citing her own source, one of Bryce Ruthven’s former colleagues.
“[Bryce] had a secret girlfriend the entire time during filming Married At First Sight, back in Canberra.”
The source claimed to Megan that the secret gf’s name was Courtney. She and Bryce are said to have started dating not long after Bryce split from his ex-fiancée, Lana Bongioletti, when he had already been cast on MAFS.
“He lied to her and convinced her that he was just doing the show to further his career and he asked her to wait for him. She agreed. So then he kept her on the sly the entire time,” the source elaborated.
“All of Bryce’s friends knew about Courtney, even the ones who were at his TV wedding,” said the source, who added that Bryce and Courtney had shared photos together from a wedding just three weeks before filming on MAFS kicked off.
“Their relationship was not a secret,” the source continued.
So Dramatic!‘s spies on the MAFS set added that people close to Bryce shared the intel about Bryce’s secret gf with Cameron Dunne, another contestant on the show. And that’s how it comes out among the rest of the cast.
A source told Megan that Bryce lies about Courtney on the show when he is confronted at a dinner party.
“He denies the whole thing. He even convinces the girlfriend back home to text Melissa and lie to her saying that they never dated and that none of these rumours were true.
“Then at the dinner party, they call Cameron, who had already left the show by this stage, asking him to tell them the full story about the secret girlfriend because they needed confirmation,” the source said. “Bryce covers up the whole thing.”
Bryce Ruthven is even believed to have promised to continue his relationship with Courtney after MAFS, before he dumped her ahead of finale week.
Then, a source reckons that he remains with Melissa Rawson, his MAFS wife, to this day, and even moved to Melbourne for her as “damage control” and “positive PR” after his behaviour on the show.
“Everything that came out of Bryce’s mouth during filming was just lies and manipulation,” the source added.
Talking to Woman’s Day, a production source said that Bryce and his secret gf got together “three to four months” after his engagement ended. He then apparently told another contestant about her off-camera at a dinner party.
“He told them he had been seeing a girl before production started,” the source said.
Then, on a night out with the other blokes, he was apparently texting and FaceTiming the other woman. While Bryce tried to dismiss the relationship as nothing serious, the Woman’s Day source adds that he tried to go back to Canberra during filming to see her.
“He wanted to go to her 30th birthday party,” said the source.
“It was happening during a break in filming but when he asked the producers they flat out refused.”
So instead he bought the other woman a present which he mailed home to her. Which checks out with what he apparently said to Beck in the gym.
Bryce Ruthven has been embroiled by scandal since the season kicked off: first, because he appeared to apply for MAFS while he was still with his partner of five years, Lana, leaving her to do the show; and then as people emerged to accuse him of cheating on her during their relationship.
While just one has talked to Kyle & Jackie O about her one-night-stand with Bryce, according to So Dramatic!, Bryce cheated on his ex-partner at least four times.
Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. Yucky. Yuck.
On MAFS, Bryce assured his TV wife Melissa that he only cheated on his ex once and that he had emotionally checked out of his engagement six to nine months before the breakup. Good luck to Melissa.