Here’s the Truth About Rumors Dale & Abigail ‘Hooked Up’ Before His Breakup With Clare

·13 min read

If you’re a member of Bachelor Nation, you may have heard the rumors about Dale Moss and Abigail Heringer and claims that they may or may not have “hooked up” while he was still with Clare Crawley.

Dale and Clare met on The Bachelorette season 16 in 2020, where he received the First Impression Rose. In a rare move for Bachelor Nation, Dale and Clare decided to leave together after the third Rose Ceremony. But before they left, they had a Final Rose Ceremony, where Dale proposed to Clare and Clare gave him her Final Rose. After they left, Clare was replaced as the Bachelorette by Tayshia Adams.

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In January 2021, Dale announced that he and Clare had broken up after less than a year together. “I wanted share with you all that Clare and I have decided to go our separate ways,” Dale wrote on his Instagram at the time. “We appreciate the love and support we’ve received from so many people, but this is the healthiest decision for both of us at this time. We strongly believe in leading with love and always remaining true to oneself – something our families have taught and instilled in us throughout our lives. We only hope the best things for one another.”

After his announcement, Clare took to her Instagram Story to slam Dale for making a “mutual” statement on her behalf. “I was made aware of a ‘mutual’ statement at the same time you all were, so I’ve needed some time to really digest this,” she wrote at the time. “Speaking for myself, my intentions with this relationship always have been very clear, so the truth is I am crushed. This was not what I expected or hoped for and am still trying to process this.” She continued, “Our relationship was not perfect, but I can say I was genuinely invested with all of my heart. I may not have all the answers, but I do know this. I will continue to show up, stand by my word, and be committed to love. Xo Clare.”

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At the time, rumors also swirled at the time that Dale had cheated on Clare with Eleonora Srugo, a real estate agent in New York City that Dale had been friends with before The Bachelorette. “Dale told Clare that their relationship was simply business-related. Clare has always been skeptical,” a source told E! News at the time. “She never trusted the friendship and thought it was shady.” The source continued, “Dale would always reassure Clare that it was nothing serious, [but] multiple people have told Clare that Dale was parading around NYC with this girl “Clare would confront him about his relationship and tried to question him about it, but he would always deny it.” Both Srugo and Dale denied the rumors at the time.

A month after their breakup, rumors swirled that Dale and Clare were back together. A source confirmed to Us Weekly in July 2021 that Dale and Clare were engaged again. “They’re engaged but still are working on building a solid relationship. They’ve discussed future plans but aren’t necessarily wedding planning,” the source said at the time. “They aren’t rushing to tie the knot.”

In September 2021, news broke that Dale and Clare had broken up for a second time. “It was best for them to go their separate ways at this time. They will still support each other and have love for each other no matter what,” a source told Us Weekly at the time. “They have different visions” for their futures. “Wedding planning wasn’t happening which made Clare really upset. She wants to be in Sacramento to be close to her family, especially her mom who isn’t well. Dale wants to remain in NY. They will still support each other and have love for each other no matter what.” Then came the Abigail rumors…

Did Dale cheat on Clare with Abigail?

So…did Dale cheat on Clare with Abigail? The answer is no, at least according to the information we know. Rumors started that Dale and Abigail had “hooked up” when a source told celebrity Instagram account @DeuxMoi in September 2021 that a Bachelorette winner and a recent Bachelor in Paradise contestant had “hooked up” when the winner and his Bachelorette were on a “break.” “A Bachelor favorite hooked up with a Bachelor Nation recent “winner” who *may or may not have been* on a break earlier this year. One of them is on Paradise right now but producers won’t mess up her good girl edit,” the source said. Another source also confirmed the rumor and claimed that the Bachelor in Paradise contestant was from The Bachelor season 25 with Matt James.

Based on context clues, fans assumed that Abigail, who was on Matt’s Bachelor season and Bachelor in Paradise season 7, was the woman in the story, while Dale, who was the winner of The Bachelorette season 16 with Clare Crawley, was the man in the narrative. Before their most recent split in September 2021, Clare and Dale had also broken up in January 2021 before they got back together the next month, which fits into the “break” referenced in the post. Abigail and Dale also both currently live in New York City. A source for Us Weekly also confirmed the rumors at the time. The insider claimed that Dale and Abigail “hooked up” long before she was on Bachelor in Paradise and Abigail had told her friends about the hookup “under the impression that he and Clare weren’t serious” anymore.

Clare fueled the rumors that Dale and Abigail “hooked up” when she confirmed her split from Dale in an Instagram post in September 2021, in which she tagged Abigail. “I hate that I even have to say this, but in response to all the questions that are coming my way right now,” she wrote. “I’m choosing not to speak right now on the details of my relationship, because at the end of the day anyone can put on an ACT or throw words together to form any narrative they want.” (Abigail later untagged herself.)

Another source for Us Weekly, however, denied that Abigail and Dale had ever been romantic and claimed they were just friends. “They met once at flag football in New York City that a bunch of Bachelor people attended. Everyone went to a bar after, they did not sleep together. He’s never cheated on Clare,” the insider said. “They never kissed or had sex. Dale is friends with Abigail.”

In a statement to People at the time, Dale seemingly responded to rumors that he cheated on Clare with Abigail by confirming the timeline of their relationship. “Dale and Clare broke up in mid September when Clare was in New York City spending time with him,” the statement read. “Clare then chose to fly home to Sacramento and asked Dale to send her things. A couple of weeks later, Clare’s mother’s condition worsened, and Dale chose to immediately fly out to Sacramento to be with her.” (Clare’s mother has dementia and Alzheimer’s.)

“Dale flew to Sacramento last Tuesday morning to be with Clare, her mother and their family,” the statement continued. “On Wednesday, Dale flew to Los Angeles for a work obligation and had every intention to travel back to Sacramento to be with her but his number was blocked, which made it impossible to communicate with Clare. It is unfortunate that the next time Dale heard anything from Clare it was on social media.”

He ended his statement, “Dale has chosen not to speak publicly regarding all these reports because he wants to give Clare and her family the respect they need during this difficult time. Dale knows what it is like to watch a mother’s health deteriorate over time, and how devastating that is. He hopes that people will understand the current situation enough to respect everyone’s privacy during this time. He wishes Clare nothing but the best, and he is keeping her and her family in his thoughts and prayers.”

Abigail—who is currently dating Noah Erb, whom she met on Bachelor in Paradise season 7—seemingly responded to the rumors in a video Noah posted on his Instagram Story in October 2021. “So I just checked my phones and I saw some DMs and some spoiler accounts. A lot of interesting stuff swirling around. Hm,” Noah said as Abigail laughed in the background. He captioned the video, “A lot of interesting stuff swirling around…it must be spooky season.” Around that time, Noah also poked fun at the rumors with an Instagram post of him holding drinks with the caption, “Having more tea than I know what to do with 👀☕️.” Abigail commented on the post with, “🐸☕️.”

Who is Dale Moss?

Image: ABC.
Image: ABC.

Dale Moss, a 33-year-old former football wide receiver from Brandon, South Dakota, was a contestant on The Bachelorette season 16 with Clare Crawley. He received Clare’s First Impression Rose, and they got engaged after the third Rose Ceremony, which left Dale and Clare to leave The Bachelorette after episode 4 and Clare to be replaced by Tayshia Adams. “Yeah, it’s wild right? That we’re here right now, but I’ve said this before, from the moment I stepped out of the limo, this was special,” Dale told Clare during his proposal. “And I know you and I, we both felt it immediately and there was absolutely no denying it. You made it so clear and apparent that every at phase of this that you believed in us, you believed in you and I, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that you would go to the end of the world for me and I’ve never had that and I’m so grateful for that.”

He continued, “And you talked about strength and compassion and how you saw that in me, similar to your father and that meant everything. You know I wanna be here for you, I wanna be strong, I want you to feel protected and I want nothing more than to keep moving forward, to be there for you each and every day. And you know, I thought a lot about, you know, my mother and what she would think of you and she would absolutely love you and all she’s ever wanted for me is someone who just loves me unconditionally and who would be there for me, no matter what. I mean, I know that I have that and I love you and I’m so appreciative for you and the best is yet to come – I’m not going anywhere and I want to make you happy each and every day, so with that being said, I’m gonna do it… I’m doing it… Clare, will you marry me?”

In his Bachelorette bio, Dale explained how his mother’s death affected his view on life. “Dale is a small town boy with big dreams of making an impact on the world. His mother passed away at a young age; but before her death, Dale says she taught him to always follow his passions and that nothing is impossible if you work hard,” his bio reads. “After playing D1 football and basketball at South Dakota State, Dale spent four years playing in the NFL before stepping away to move to New York and pursue a career in consulting for sports wellness and lifestyle brands. When asked what his greatest achievement is to date, Dale says, ‘I’m living it!'”

His bio continues, “Now, all he’s just missing is a woman to share his success with. Dale is looking for a woman who wants him but doesn’t need him and says that nothing turns him on more than an independent woman with strong convictions. When Dale is feeling passionate, he doesn’t like to hold back and is looking for a woman who won’t be turned off by his intensity. Dale says one thing he has not mastered yet is patience. Will he be able to wait his turn to make a move on Clare or will he come in hot for all the right reasons?”

Who is Abigail Heringer?

Image: Courtesy of ABC.
Image: Courtesy of ABC.

Abigail Heringer, a 26-year-old client financial manager from Beaverton, Oregon, was a contestant on The Bachelor season 25 with Matt James. She was eliminated in 7th place after she asked Matt why he never received a one-on-one date invitation from him, despite getting the First Impression Rose on night one. During the conversation, Matt explained to Abigail that he was sure in their relationship at the start of the season but had since become closer to other women, which led him to send her home. Abigail was also on Bachelor in Paradise season 7, where she dated Noah Erb, a contestant from The Bachelorette season 16 with Tayshia Adams.

Abigail, who is the first hearing impaired contestant in Bachelor Nation history, works as a client financial analyst for Opus Agency in Portland, Oregon. Before her current job, Abigail worked as a real estate valuations analyst from June 2019 to February 2020. Prior to that, she worked as a manger research analyst in real estate at RVK, Inc. from June 2017 to May 2019. She graduated from Linfield College in 2017 with a bachelor’s of science in finance. She was a part of the Alpha Phi sorority and a player on the women’s golf team.

In her Bachelor bio, Abigail revealed that “good looks” are a “plus” in a relationship, but her focus is finding someone she can get to know on a “deeper level.” “Abigail is a beautiful soul from the Pacific Northwest who says that nothing makes her happier than enjoying a cold local microbrew on a beautiful Oregon day,” her bio reads. “Having a hearing impairment never stopped Abigail from living her life to the fullest. She loves being outdoors, and when she’s not working, she loves to spend time with family whom she says bring out the best side of her. Abigail is easygoing, laid-back, always down to have fun and ready to find the man of her of her dreams.”

Her bio continues, “She says she is looking for a man who will lift her up and make her feel like it’s just the two of them in the whole wide world. Good looks are definitely a plus, but Abigail says that getting to know someone on a deeper level is far more important in a successful relationship.”

For her fun facts, Abigail listed the following:

  • Spends free time golfing with her grandparents.

  • Loves Calvin Harris because his beats slap.

  • Favorite way to approach a guy is to “accidentally” bump into them.

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Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman

"Bachelor Nation" by Amy Kaufman
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To get more of an inside scoop, check out Los Angeles Times writer Amy Kaufman’s book, Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America’s Favorite Guilty Pleasure, for a deep dive into the Bachelor franchise. The book uncovers the secrets of Bachelor Nation, from how much the Bachelor and the Bachelorette are paid to the rules contestants have to follow, that producers don’t want fans to know. It’s a must-read for any Bachelor Nation member.

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