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'Bachelorette': Watching show has been a 'down time' [Video]

July 31, 2011 | 11:02 pm

Ashley Hebert has been at the receiving end of a fair share of criticism throughout her journey on "The Bachelorette" this season. Some of which, admittedly, has come from this very blog.

Since the show's premiere earlier this summer, many fans have questioned Hebert's decisions on the show -- most notably, her choice to keep bad boy Bentley Williams around when she had been warned that he wasn't there for the "right" reasons.

After the taping of the "Men Tell All" special, which aired Sunday, Hebert said in an interview with Show Tracker that she was initially deeply upset by the public's scrutiny. (You can watch a video of the sit-down below.)

"I think people, for some reason, think I knew what Bentley was saying. And if anything, it was the farthest thing from the truth," she said. "Not only did I never see any of the interviews. But he was just such a good actor, and he was trying to trick me intentionally. And he did a great job."

Hebert, who is studying to be a dentist at the University of Pennsylvania, said she watches the program while holed up alone in her "secluded" apartment -- an event she dreads.

"Monday nights are tough. They really are. It's really tough and watching it air. It was a really down time for me -- people judging and not understanding," she admitted. "The things that people say -- at first, it really, really got to me. But now I'm realizing people like to hate, and people are open to their own opinions and I need to respect that and not let it get to me. I feel like I've kind of built up this wall of armor. And I'm gonna need it."

Indeed. Whether or not Hebert chooses finalist JP Rosenbaum or Ben Flajnik during Monday night's finale, the media circus surrounding her engagement will no doubt be intense. But Hebert described the relationship she has with her current secret beau as "so strong and so great," adding that she's been communicating with him as the season has unfolded on-screen over the last few weeks.

"Surprisingly, I thought that I would have to help him through a lot, and even though I have, he's helped me through so much," she said. "I don't know how I would look back on all this if I wasn't as happy as I am now. He's made it great for me."


Complete "Bachelorette" coverage on Show Tracker

Constantine Tzortzis: Why I bowed out of 'Bachelorette' [Video]

Ryan Park: 'Bachelorette' is engaged to JP 'without question' [Video]

-- Amy Kaufman

Photo: Ashley Hebert is "The Bachelorette." Credit: ABC/Kenny Ting.