Television reality show The Bachelor is renowned for twists—interrupted rose ceremonies, pantomime villain contestants, hissy fits—but the latest off-air drama has surprised fans of the Ten franchise.
Model and mother-of-one Alex Nation, who won Richie Strahan’s heart on last year’s series, is said to have quickly moved on from her split with the Perth rope technician − with a teammate from the Frankston Bombers Women’s AFL club.
Tabloid magazine New Idea has published photos of Nation, 26, kissing Maegan Luxa (known as Maegs) and holding her arm, with a friend quoted as telling the publication they are in a relationship.
“Alex has found love in the arms of a woman,” the source said.
Luxa, 31, is a chef from Victoria’s Langwarrin who reports say acts as an “enforcer” in the suburban footy team.
The story claims the pair initially hoped to keep their fledgling relationship out of the spotlight, but are open with their feelings in front of Nation’s son Elijah, 6, and other Frankston teammates.
“They are inseparable, spending very few nights apart, but it was all a bit of a shock,” the friend said. Up until this point, Alex had only ever had relationships with men.”
Asked for comment on Monday, Nation would not confirm or deny the report, telling NW magazine, “I don’t feel the need to make comments on anything. But I’m doing well!”
In July, she told website Pop Sugar that she’s had a “massive year” and has aimed to keep a low profile: “I’ve been trying to really find myself, so to speak.”
Her modelling agency Chadwick kept mum on the buzz, with agent and academy co-ordinator Vanda Schijf — whose Perth office handles Nation’s bookings — telling The New Daily, “I have no comment to make.”
A Melbourne Chadwick staffer told The New Daily the office hadn’t spoken with Ms Nation today, but the romance story “was all news to us” he said.
“I don’t know anything about her personal life. If she wants to make a statement, she will.”
According to reports, Ms Nation and Ms Luxa met while playing weekend footy for the Frankston Bombers. When Nation injured her arm three months ago, Ms Luxa accompanied her to a local hospital emergency room.
The next weekend, on May 14, Nation included a love heart emoji with an Instagram post of the team’s victory celebrations, featuring Luxa, and the following month commented with a ‘raise the roof’ emoji below a snap of Luxa handballing.
The friend told New Idea that Nation “doesn’t see the need” to categorise the alleged relationship: “Right now she is not giving this or herself any sort of label such as gay or bisexual.”
Strahan, 32, who was snapped on the weekend running errands in Perth, was not previously aware of the new relationship, the friend told New Idea.
“Right now, confronting him with this news seems way too difficult and the last thing she wants to do is hurt Richie,” they said. Sydney sales executive Keira Maguire, who also vied for Strahan’s heart in 2016, said she wished Nation “all the happiness” because, she told Fairfax Media, “Love is love.”
While the same-sex twist may have surprised fans of the show, it’s not unprecedented for The Bachelor.
Two of last year’s contestants, Megan Marx and Tiffany Scanlon had a relationship but split earlier in 2017.
And one of the bunch looking for love with Matty J on the current season has also revealed she had previously been in a long-term romance with a woman.