Despite insisting in 2018 that she and former Bachelor Nick Viall were just “friends” after their social media flirtations set tongues wagging, January Jones confirmed on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast that she did in fact briefly date the reality star.
The Mad Men actress told Shepard and co-host Monica Padman that she and Viall — who competed on The Bachelorette (twice) and Bachelor in Paradise before becoming The Bachelor for the reality show’s Season 21 — went out after he “slid into my DMs.”
At the time, Jones had become known as a Bachelor enthusiast who would frequently discuss the show on talk shows. But despite her love for the show and its spinoffs, the single mom wasn’t a fan of Viall, who broke off his engagement with Vanessa Grimaldi just months after their season aired in 2017.
“I was just blasting that guy,” Jones said of Viall.
That didn’t stop him from shooting his shot after she appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
“Nick slid into my DMs, and he’s like, ‘I’m so sorry that your perception of me is so negative, I’d love to take you out to coffee and see if I could change your mind,’” the 42-year-old shared. “And I squealed.”
Jones took some convincing to accept — but eventually agreed, and even considered stealing a move from the show that made Viall famous.
“I was like, ‘I hate that guy!’ [but] my sister was like, ‘If you don’t go you will forever regret it,’” she said. “So I agreed to go on a date with him — or to drinks, or whatever. As I met him I was rounding the corner and I saw him, and he has a very distinct walk, and I had this instinct to run up to him and wrap my legs around his waist, you know like they do? [But] I stopped myself.”
The meet-up went well, but the budding romance didn’t get off the ground.
“It was good, [but] all I did was grill him about the show,” she added. “We went on a couple of dates and then ... “
While Jones trailed off before explaining how things ended, she did tell Shepard and Padman that she was “attracted” to the 39-year-old reality star’s brains — not to mention his arsenal of insider Bachelor gossip.
“The thing that attracted me to Nick was that he seemed — I mean, he was cast as the quote-unquote villain, but he had a bit of a brain, so there was something else there,” she said. “That’s all we were talking about, really. But I got a lot of juicy inside stuff.”
After a moment’s hesitation (“I shouldn’t”), Jones decided to pass on her intel, joking, “I don’t work for ABC.”
Her scoop: Contestants “share a lot of germs with lots and lots of people.” And the notoriously cringe-inducing and comical introductions outside the Bachelor mansion are controlled by the show’s producers.
“When they come out of the limo and they all have these little schticks or whatever, like the producers are handing them to them, and then I just feel bad for the people who get, like, the dolphin costume,” she said.
Jones also said she’d declined Viall’s invitation to appear on his podcast, The Viall Files — “He asked me to be on it, but I was like, ‘What are we going to talk about?’” — but appears to have had a change of heart. Yours truly popped up on the Jan. 7 episode.
Alas, Viall has some competition. During her discussion with Shepard and Padman, Jones — who also spoke about dating Ashton Kutcher from age 19 to 22 — revealed that her celebrity crush is Ricky Gervais.
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