Warning: Spoilers for the second half of the current “Love Is Blind” season below!
Zanab Jaffrey experienced a very un-Cutie moment during the filming of Season 3 of “Love Is Blind.”
During the reunion special released Wednesday, the Netflix reality contestant described a scene that was not featured on the show between her and her former fiancé, Cole Barnett.
Throughout the reunion, there were rumblings among the female contestants about a “Cutie incident” — a situation involving the small brand-name mandarins — between Jaffrey and Barnett. After it was brought up several times, Jaffrey shared the story — which may be one of the reasons why she decided to reject Barnett at the altar.
“One day, it was like 2 p.m., and we were still filming,” Jaffrey began. “I hadn’t had a chance to eat, so I grabbed two Cuties — like two little oranges that fit in the palm of your hand. And he looked at me and goes, ‘Are you gonna eat both of those?’”
“And I said, ‘Well, yeah, that’s a serving.’ And he goes, ‘Well, we’re going out to eat later, like maybe save your appetite.’”
Barnett appeared bewildered upon Jaffrey’s telling of the story and asked production to “please air it” if they had the footage.
Turns out production did have receipts — because the special ended with the clip that Jaffrey referenced. In the footage, Barnett does indeed ask if she is going to eat two Cuties, and the scene goes down pretty much how Jaffrey described it during the reunion.
The new footage also features another exchange between the two that is equally troublesome. While Jaffrey peels one of her mandarins, she tells Barnett that she’s hungry because she’s only had a single banana and scoop of peanut butter to eat that day. In response, Barnett asks her why she’s eaten so little, and Jaffrey says:
“Oh, I could definitely tell you, but I probably shouldn’t.”
Jaffrey’s hesitance to tell her then-fiancé why she barely ate harks back to other claims she made about him during the reunion.
She accused Barnett of “pushing food away from me,” “asking if I’m ‘gonna eat that,’” “trying to get me to order a salad,” and making “daily comments about my face and my body.”
Jaffrey said these comments occurred on and off camera.
“I stopped eating,” she said at one point during the reunion. “I was eating, like, a banana and a teaspoon of peanut butter just so I wouldn’t pass out on the long days we were filming.”
To make matters worse, Jaffrey also said that Barnett admitted on their wedding day that he had tried “to kiss a girl and got her number at the bachelor party.”
Barnett denied all of Jaffrey’s accusations and eventually broke down in tears during the reunion.
On “Love is Blind,” potential couples date in “pods,” or conjoining rooms where the two can speak but cannot see one another. If a couple decides to get engaged while dating in the pods, they get a chance to meet face to face, then live with one another for a few weeks, and finally decide whether or not they’ll actually tie the knot at their wedding.
In “Love is Blind” Season 3, Jaffrey dumped Barnett at the altar.
“You have disrespected me, you have insulted me, you have critiqued me, and for what it’s worth, you have single-handedly shattered my self-confidence,” she told Barnett in front of their wedding guests. “And the messed-up thing is I know I love you … but love shouldn’t feel this way. I can’t marry you.”
Jaffrey later told Variety that she “did love” Barnett during their courtship but that his comments had an adverse effect on her.
“The things he was saying to me did hurt,” she told the outlet. “I was somehow trying to make myself desirable to him, whether it be skinnier or” — taking a deep breath — “I’ve never had someone speak to me that way about my body or eating. That was very real for me. I did change what I was eating. I was just eating a banana. I did lose weight by the wedding day. It had nothing to do with fitting into my wedding dress.”
Jaffrey told People after the reunion that she and Barnett “do not speak” anymore. Barnett told People that he regrets his behavior on the show.