Although the show was filmed over a year ago, things hit a fever pitch over Thanksgiving weekend, when fans of the Netflix reality dating show slammed Zanab for claiming she met up with Cole’s ex-wife for coffee.
Zanab has also alleged that she suffered an eating disorder during the filming of the show due to Cole’s body-shaming comments. During the After the Altar reunion, she claimed that the “Cuties” scene – which Netflix later added to the special – was proof that Cole had been body-shaming her throughout the show. However, many fans viewed it in a totally different light and felt that Cole was actually concerned about – and not criticizing – her eating habits.
In a recent 20-minute appearance on Lauren Interviews Apple podcast, Cole “spills the details” on the reunion, the wedding, and, of course, that Cuties scene. Keep reading to see what he said!
Cole Barnett Claims That He Was ‘Walking On Eggshells’ Around Ex Zanab Jaffrey While Filming ‘Love Is Blind’ Season 3
During the interview, Cole said that he was “so thankful” that Netflix included the Cuties scene in the special because he didn’t know why Zanab was accusing him of body-shaming her. “I was just asking and saying, ‘Hey, we planned this big dinner.’ I was just speaking to it and being myself,” explained.
“I was trying to keep things light,” Cole went on, noting that this isn’t the first time that he’s had to watch his language around Zanab. “And the reason that I’m using the word ‘appetito’ instead of appetite and speaking like a normal human is because I knew how sensitive things were with Zay on everything.”
“I was walking on eggshells because I knew there are just tripwires everywhere,” he continued. “The moment I say one thing that hits her wrong, I’m now the worst. I was just trying to figure out how to even speak without saying something wrong.”
‘Love Is Blind’ Star Cole Barnett Speaks On Engagement To Zanab Jaffrey: ‘She Played Me’
The tenth episode of the season ended with a trip down the aisle for Zanab and Cole. According to Cole, the two had worked out a plan beforehand, as Zanab wanted no “drama” at the wedding. Unfortunately, that’s not the way things down. Zanab walked down the altar and proceeded to call Cole out in front of everyone, accusing him of single-handedly shattering her self-confidence.
When asked about how that wedding scene went down, Cole said, “She played me. One hundred percent, she played me,” before revealing that Zanab told him “there was a chance that we were getting married.” However, Cole says after their last date, “We talked off-camera and I let her know that I wasn’t ready to get married.”
Cole claims that Zanab told him “verbatim” that “I don’t want any drama at the wedding,” later saying, “I got totally played and it was scripted.” He also said that it was “a lie for her at the reunion to say that she was still trying to decide on the wedding day whether or not she was ready to marry me.”
Fans Have Debated Whether Zanab Tried To ‘Pull A Deepti’ On Cole
Cole also shot down the idea that Netflix producers might have encouraged Zanab to make a big speech at the altar, similar to the one that Deepti Vempati gave to Shake during season 2. Cole said that “the producers do not put words in your mouth, adding that they “do not coordinate things like that.”
“That was 100 percent Zanab’s decision,” he added. “It was equally as shocking to production as it was to me.” For what it’s worth, Shake has been sharing a lot of support for Cole in his Instagram Stories, even going as far as referring to Zanab as Amber Heard.
As for where things stand after the reunion aired, Cole said that they don’t speak. He said that he sent her one message “and she just liked it.” Fortunately, it seems that the experience has not discouraged him from dating again. “I am open to dating,” he said, admitting that he will “go on dates” but hasn’t yet.
“I have not dated,” Cole clarified.