Bachelorette Fleur Verhoeven - left heartbroken after being dumped by her reality-TV boyfriend - last night jumped to the defence of the man who spurned her.
Verhoeven, 26, said threats and abuse directed at The Bachelor NZ star Jordan Mauger had to stop.
"I am feeling physically ill by how badly Jordan and his family are being treated," she said in a statement. "Can we for one moment step back and think, maybe the way Jordan has been portrayed over the last few days isn't completely accurate. Maybe what we see and hear isn't always 100 per cent true."
In Monday's finale of the show, Verhoeven appeared to have won the heart of Mauger as the series winner.
The following night, viewers tuned in as the couple made a brief, awkward appearance in the The Bachelor NZ: Women Tell All event.
Runner-up Naz Khanjani captured the spotlight, targeting rival Bachelorettes with verbal barbs and giving a tongue-lashing to an audience member who heckled her.
She subsequently said she had slept with Mauger "more than once".
Hours later, Verhoeven revealed she'd been dumped - just 72 hours after the finale.
She described the days after her rejection as "an emotional rollercoaster" but said she bore no ill feeling towards 32-year-old Mauger.
"Of course I would have loved for the outcome to be different and to have explored a possible relationship with Jordan," Verhoeven said "but I am also very grateful for his honesty and integrity and feel we both deserve your support."
Last night, Mauger thanked his friends for sticking by him amid the intense public backlash.
In a private message sent on Facebook, he wrote: "I am so very grateful to have the friends that I do. You are the ones that truly know me without the bow tie, champagne and roses ... Without your love and support, I'd still be lost in this storm of hate. I may not have found it on the show, but I've sure got love with my friends."
Police would not say if they were investigating threats or other verbal abuse made to Mauger or his family.