Locky Gilbert has fired back at claims that he and frontrunner Bella Varelis knew each other prior to this season of The Bachelor.

Earlier this month, WHO Magazine reported that the pair had met in Bali before entering the Bachie Mansion, and even made a “secret pact” to ensure that she came out as the winner.

A television insider told the mag that their arrangement made it difficult for producers to guide the story in their own spicy way.

“Her goal was acting, Bella wants to be an actress, and follow Sam Frost’s career and be on Home and Away,” the source told the publication.

Now, in a new interview with Daily Mail Australia, Locky insists he “had never met Bella prior to her arrival on The Bachelor red carpet.”

He also hit back at claims that he and Bella were “set up” by Bachelor couple Matthew ‘Matty J’ Johnson and Laura Byrne before the show.

“Individually, Bella and I know Matty J and Laura, however claims that we were introduced by them, or that we had made any kind of secret pact are completely false,” he explained.

A production insider told the publication that producers had a hard time selling the Bachie love story this year ‘cos Locky and Bella “already knew each other.”

“[Producers] hated their jobs this season because of Locky and Bella,” the TV insider told Daily Mail Australia.

“[Bella] let it slip to the top five girls she knew Locky, and everyone was like ‘what?'”

“Bella brushed it off. She slipped up,” the source continued.

According to a ‘yuge spoiler that dropped last week, Bella goes far in the comp (I don’t wanna spoil just how far, but click here to see the spicy spoiler for yourself).