Amid fallout from an alleged death hoax scandal earlier this week, former Bachelorette star Josh Seiter insists that he was never romantically linked to RuPaul's Drag Race alum Monica Beverly Hillz, who exclusively told EW Tuesday that she didn't believe the reality personality's erroneously announced death was the work of hackers, as Seiter claimed upon his return to social media. Now, EW has obtained screenshots indicating that — by his own prior admission — Seiter appeared to be in a brief relationship with the drag superstar.
After Monica's interview with EW, in which she also detailed their short-term relationship, Seiter talked to multiple outlets, including the Advocate, Page Six, and Out, strongly refuting their dating history.
"She's not my ex, and she's clearly desperate for attention. She's trying to milk her flimsy connection to me for all it's worth, and it's laughable. Everything she's saying is without one shred of evidence, and it's given me a good chuckle," Seiter told Page Six, equating it to "brushing against Justin Bieber at a couple events and then claiming we dated."
He also shared an Instagram Story early Thursday, suggesting he was setting the record straight about someone "claiming" to be his ex, writing, "For the record, I hung out with them a total of 3 times in my entire life. I'm sure they are a lovely person, but I just don't know them like that. As they say, attention attractions attention, and some people will do anything for a little bit of fame. Don't believe everything you read."
Josh Seiter/instagram Josh Seiter's Instagram Story
However, EW has since obtained screenshots of Seiter's Instagram, reportedly taken in early August, around the same time Monica previously told EW she entered into a relationship with Seiter. In the images, Seiter's Instagram bio reads "Taken by @monicabhillz," and since-deleted photos of the two embracing are also visible on his Instagram grid.
Provided to EW
EW has also obtained screenshots of a past Instagram Story posted by Seiter, in which he announced that "Me and Monica have decided to go our separate ways," suggesting that they were in a relationship.
Provided to EW
When contacted by EW, Monica's friend of 25 years, Aly Gunn, also confirmed the Drag Race star's story, telling us that Monica confided in her about her official relationship with Seiter around Aug. 15, roughly 11 days after she says Monica told her about their first date.
Reached for comment about the deleted posts on Thursday, Seiter brushed them off as jokes. "We'd hung out only once when I put those posts up. It was nothing more than an inside joke between us," he told EW in an email. "The posts weren't serious. I'm sure Monica is a lovely person but I don't know her like that. She's clearly unable to let go of the three times we hung out and move on with her life. But I wish her nothing but the best."
On Monday, a note was posted to Seiter's Instagram account falsely announcing that he had died unexpectedly after struggling with his mental health. Monica shared it on her Instagram along with photos of the pair together, as well as her condolences over the loss. The following day, an alive-and-well Seiter appeared in a video stating hackers had broken into his account and posted the fake death announcement.
Monica previously told EW that she first met Josh around 2013, just after her stint on Drag Race season 5 when he was a go-go dancer prior to appearing on Kaitlyn Bristowe's season of The Bachelorette. She says after years of occasional flirting on Instagram, Seiter hit her up this August, following the conclusion of All Stars 8, in which she competed again and enjoyed viral success with her song, "Not a Soul Can Clock."
EW; Josh Seiter/Instagram Monica Beverly Hillz and Josh Seiter
"Our second date, the second picture I posted of us [on Instagram], that's when it was official," Monica said in a prior interview. "That weekend was his birthday, I took him to a magic show in my neighborhood for my birthday. That night we made it official and let everybody know on social media that we were dating."
She then described immediately getting messages warning her to "run" because "he's a clout chaser." Monica said at first the pair laughed it off, but claimed Seiter told her about planting stories about himself in the media. She said they broke up on Aug. 22, after rarely speaking aside from their dates and began to fear he could be using her for clout.
Monica said Seiter blocked her on social media shortly after their split, but was "devastated" when she saw news of his apparent death posted on his Instagram. Then, when Seiter posted his video the next day, she didn't believe it.
"You dated me, if your s--- was hacked, you should've called me, the first one," she said. "He knows me well enough to know I would've picked up the phone, because I'm friends with all of my exes. He has my number, to call me and say, 'Hey, I need your help, you can release a statement saying my thing is hacked.' He didn't do s---, sat back, and got off on everybody freaking out and going through a thing."
When reached for comment by EW on Tuesday about Monica's claims, Seiter denied perpetrating the hoax himself, but said nothing to dispute a prior relationship with Monica.
"Those are all ridiculous accusations made up by somebody with nothing better to do with their time," he said in an email. "As a mental health advocate, issues of suicide are very sensitive for me. To suggest that I would orchestrate a death post around that issue is sickening. I have dedicated the last 8 years of my life blogging and raising awareness about mental health, and I will continue to do so. Regardless of what my detractors have to say."
In an interview with PEOPLE on Tuesday, Seiter called the initial Instagram post about his death "very unfortunate" and said he wants to continue having open discussions about mental health to help "make what is already a difficult journey a little more bearable" for others who are similarly struggling.
"I feel like silence is going to lead inevitably to more suffering and more pain," he told the outlet.
If you or someone you know need mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.