Bachelor Nation

How Bachelor Nation's Leo Dottavio Went From Inoffensive to Total Villain in 5 Key Moves

Add "Reality TV Bad Guy" to his IMDB, stat

Bachelor in Paradise Leo Dottavio Villain: Leo Dottavio with illustrated devil's horns and a devil's tail

(Photo: City)

We’ve gone from roses to major red flags. Most people leave the sunny shores of Bachelor in Paradise with a higher profile, a bounty of sponcon deals and—if they’re lucky— a made-on-reality-TV summer fling. Leandro “Leo” Dottavio is not most people.

After a largely inoffensive run on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette, the Californian stuntman packed his bags for Paradise and swiftly became the beach’s #1 bully. How did it happen? And more importantly, has he not watched previous seasons??? Paradise is where Bachelor Nation’s smaller players have a chance at serious camera time, where villains are redeemed and new love stories are told (see: Nick Viall’s complete turnaround or Carly and Evan’s unlikely coupling). Leo clearly missed the memo. Here, we trace how the once innocuous man-bun enthusiast became this season’s most explosive cast member. 

The Rosy First Impression

When Becca Kufrin first saw the 31-year-old with the luscious locks on season 14 of The Bachelor, she couldn’t help but tell him that he had “hair like my sister!” Not *exactly* a good sign. Unsurprisingly, the two had zero chemistry. Even so, she kept him around, and Leo ended up making it all the way to the Bahamas with Becca. He joined her on a 3-on-1 date, where he admitted that he couldn’t see himself proposing at the end of the show—and that honest chat sealed his ticket home. Becca cut him loose, but his onscreen likability remained intact. (Though, at the Men Tell All he did call his housemate Jordan a “modern-day narcissist,” which seems rich in retrospect.)  

The Off-Camera Red Flag

Right before Leo made his debut in Paradise, Bekah Martinez—the pixie-haired alum from Arie Luyendyk’s Bachelor season—accused Leo of harassing several women. In a series of Instagram Stories, she shared screengrabs of DMs she’d received from women alleging that Leo made unwanted advances toward them and sent “multiple unwanted dick pics.” Leo responded to the allegations in a statement to FLARE.

“Did I do things in college that I would be embarrassed about now? Absolutely,” he said. “I would love an opportunity to right my wrongs and speak to any woman that wants to tell me how and when I made them feel uncomfortable. I want to take this as an opportunity to better myself and the treatment of women in my life.”

The On-Camera Red Flag

Once in Paradise, Leo started spending time with Kendall (who had also been “getting to know” Grocery Store Joe). But when Kevin let it slip to Kendall that Leo also kissed Chelsea, the result looked and sounded like a whole lot of alarm bells. When confronted by Kendall, Leo proceeded to aggressively lash out at her, accusing her of “faking” her feelings for him and insisting that she’s “a phenomenal actress.” *NOT OK*

Burning His Bach Nation Bridges

At this point, Leo seemed to realize that there was no way of restoring his image. Rather than altering the course of his Paradise narrative by simply apologizing to Kendall, he doubled down on the gross behaviour by committing the ultimate Bachelor Nation sin—bashing The Franchise. In a toast that no one asked for, the season’s newest villain raised his glass to call out Kendall and mocks his castmates’ search for love. 

The Splashy Exit

With one last uninspired insult hurled in Grocery Store Joe’s direction (referring to him as “Grocery Store B-tch”), Leo attempted to storm off. But Joe—and this season’s drama-hungry production team—didn’t let him get away. When GSJ tried to face off with the franchise’s newly-minted villain, Leo threw a drink in his face before being dragged away by the crew. But while he may have been restrained in Paradise, it seems like there is no one holding Leo back from attacking additional members of Bachelor Nation IRL. On August 28, Leo took to Twitter to pick fights with Amanda Stanton, Ashley Spivey and Tanner Tolbert. 

Leo has since deleted all of his tweets related to these feuds—but not before starting new beef with a few more members. After Tanner suggested that Leo “needed help,” following his Twitter rampage, Leo clapped back, saying: “last time I was in therapy the doc told me I suffer from extreme narcissism.” He continued: “I tried to listen to what he had to say but he had a reflective lamp that gave me a perfectly good look at my jaw line. Needless to say I went uncured,” Us Weekly reports. Um, clearly.

Nick Viall was quick to weigh in on Leo’s extreme case of narcissism, tweeting: “Breaking news: Self proclaimed Alpha suggests Charity boxing match with someone they have a clear physical advantage over as means to inflate their own ego all while further demonstrating their deep insecurities.” Nick’s reply prompted Leo to extend his invitation for a brawl, offering to take on both him *and* Tanner. “Hey nick how about you and tanner at the same time vs me? For allllll the marbles let’s goooooo” Leo wrote, according to Us Weekly. The Bachelorette season 13 contestant Dean Unglert couldn’t resist chiming into the Nick-versus-Leo feud, tweeting: “Are marbles still a thing? Why would anyone want ALL the marbles. Honestly, that seems like a burden.” To which Leo responded, “Dean what’s up. What you weighing in now a days?” Leo to continued to throw insults Nick’s way by calling him a “sad excuse of a man,” and telling him “your forefather would frown at your weakness my friend.” After a few more Twitter exchanges, Leo deleted all of his tweets pertaining to the feud and has now resorted to filling his feed with a few *shady* retweets of those taking his side in dramz.

Despite this season being snooze-worthy, Leo’s about-face is one thing we *actually* didn’t see coming. To sum up:

  • Click here for more from our all-Bachelor Nation, all-the-time hub, The Morning After