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During Part 1 of the reunion, which aired on January 28, the topic of Natalie's romantic past with Austen Kroll prior to her dating Craig came up. Andy Cohen also noted that he had previously met Natalie when he hosted Season 1 of Love Connection when she appeared as a contestant, and some of the cast found it odd that it seemed like she wasn't so forthcoming about her past TV appearance with Craig.
Craig defended his girlfriend during the reunion and said that he wasn't bothered by her past, emphasizing how much the time they have spent together has meant to him. "For some reason, I f-king fell for this girl," Craig said at the reunion. "I hated that she had been with Austen, but for some reason, I had not had this feeling about someone in years."
Natalie addressed the claims brought up about her in a post in her Instagram Story following the airing of Part 1 of the Southern Charm reunion. In regards to her appearance on Love Connection, Natalie wrote, as reported by Us Weekly, "Who cares what I did in my past? Yes, I was on a tiny segment of Love Connection for 15 minutes 5 years ago. My friend was one of the producers and offered me [money] and said it would be fun. So I did it, as most kids would. It's not that deep. I told Craig about it way back when we were friends, we watched the clips on YouTube together, then we continued living our lives. In no way is this a connection to who I am. I have a full time job that I enjoy and have worked hard to achieve."
She also clarified her past with Austen. "Austen and I had a meaningless fling over a year and a half ago. Cool. We mutually decided we're better as friends and he introduced me to Craig. Craig and I were just friends for months and organically developed feelings for each other," Natalie explained. "You can't help or control who you fall for. Austen, Craig and I are all adults, all have a past, and do not care about it."
Natalie added, "What I do in my private life is my decision and I should not be shamed for it. However, your opinion of me is none of my business and I respect that."
She ended the post by sharing the most important thing about her relationship with Craig. "On a parting not, Craig is my best friend and we are happy together," she said. "Nothing else really matters. That's all."
The Southern Charm Season 7 reunion continues with Part 2 on Thursday, February 4 at 8/7c. That will be followed by a special "Secrets Revealed" episode on Thursday, February 11 at 8/7c featuring never-before-seen footage from Season 7.
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