Emily Maynard had one of the saddest and most memorable stories in Bachelor history. She came on the show as a widow, after her fiance, famed NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick was killed in a plane crash. After he died, Emily learned she was pregnant with their daughter Ricki.
America fell in love with the single mom when she appeared on Brad Womack’s season of The Bachelor, as did Womack. But that was just the beginning for Maynard. She later became The Bachelorette and unfortunately had two break-ups in the public eye.
There may be some things she regrets about being on reality TV, but she eventually got her happily ever after.
Emily Maynard won ‘The Bachelor’
Maynard went on reality TV to find love again after her fiance’s passing, not once, but twice. She shared her story in her book I Said Yes, where she said she felt “empty and utterly embarrassed” about her two failed engagements.
We met Maynard in the premiere of Womack’s season, where he was taken with her from night one. He called her a frontrunner from the start.
The southern belle told The Bachelor her story during their one-on-one, and he became even more smitten with her. “Every single thing you’ve told me has made me like you even more,” he said to her.
It was not a shock when he proposed to her and she said yes. But during After the Final Rose, Ricki’s mom told host Chris Harrison that she was not ready to get married.
The couple didn’t last long. She explained the breakup to People, saying, “just because we love each other doesn’t mean we’re right for each other.”
Emily Maynard became ‘The Bachelorette’
Many fan favorites become The Bachelorette after their time on The Bachelor. Maynard became the star of the show for season 8.
After beginning with 25 men, the single mom came down to her final two: race car driver Arie Luyendyk, Jr., and entrepreneur Jef Holm. Maynard let Luyendyk go before the final date because she saw her future with Holm. He proposed during the finale.
Once again, the southern belle thought she met the man of her dreams, but again it didn’t turn out the way she had hoped. A few months later, there was another breakup.
The two each said they hoped to remain friends, but that didn’t last long. A source later told Us Weekly in 2012 that Holm was trying to sell the story of their split to magazines. Maynard was said to be “sad and embarrassed about Jef.”
Life for Emily Maynard after ‘The Bachelor’
It may have been a long journey but Emily Maynard finally found the right guy for her after The Bachelor. She eventually connected with Tyler Johnson, who was from her hometown. She didn’t find love on TV, she found it in her own backyard.
The two married in 2014 and live in Charlotte, NC. The couple has five children together, as well as her daughter Ricki. In November 2022, they revealed that their youngest child, Jones, has Down Syndrome.