Ricci Rivero confirms relationship with Leren Bautista amid cheating, third-party issues
After months of speculation, Ricci Rivero finally admitted his romance with beauty queen-turned-politician Leren Mae Bautista, while appearing to address cheating and third-party allegations that attended his breakup with ABS-CBN actress Andrea Brillantes.
On his Instagram last Saturday, Oct. 21, Rivero confirmed his relationship with Bautista, saying he’s dedicated to “shielding [her] from things [she doesn’t] deserve.”
“To the girl who I see as a real QUEEN, with all the wrongs hounding me, I’m blessed to have found the right one. Allow me to shield you from things you don’t deserve,” he said.
“Hindi tayo magtatago dahil walang dapat ikahiya. Walang nang agaw at walang inagaw (We will not hide because there’s nothing to be ashamed of. No one stole anyone, and no one was stolen),” he continued.
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Rivero’s admission came following several public outings of the two of them together, pictured with looks of affection on both their faces.
In his post, the baller expressed his admiration for Bautista, noting how she “genuinely continues to help and care” for others despite those who are “trying to ruin [her] reputation.”
“Walang bibitaw dahil masaya tayong magka hawak-kamay (No one is letting go because we’re happy to be holding on to each other). I love seeing how you genuinely continue to help and care for people everyday despite others trying to ruin your reputation,” he said.
“Rest assured I will be with you in inspiring people to always be better. Thank you for being so selfless and simple,” he added.
Rivero also declared that he will “never again live a life manipulated by someone’s fantasy” while expressing his love for the Los Baños councilor.
“I promise to never again live a life manipulated by someone’s fantasy. This is our story, hindi dapat iba ang mag kwento ng storya nating dalawa (No one should tell the story of the two of us),” he said.
The athlete’s declaration earned the support of his father Paolo in the comments, where they hoped that the Lord would be “in the center of [their] relationship.”
Meanwhile, Ricci’s mother Abigail appeared to make a cryptic remark against his ex-girlfriend Andrea Brillantes in the comments, where she addressed a certain “toxic relationship.”
“Have you ever wondered why some relationships work out while others don’t? It can be annoying when you want to be with someone, [especially when you know you gave your ALL, but it just doesn’t seem to be working out,” she wrote.
“If you’re in a toxic environment, you do not need to ‘get used to it for a long time’ or ‘just get over it.’ God wants you to remove yourself from these situations. God will even help you set up an unthinkable escape… Just learn to LISTEN,” she added.
Bautista was accused as the third party behind Rivero’s split with Brillantes back in June, after the former beauty queen shared a now-deleted photo with the basketball player on her Instagram Story. Her camp, however, denied the allegations in an official statement, while noting that speculations of their relationship are “entirely false.”
Prior to the confirmation of their relationship, multiple sightings of Rivero and Bautista being together circulated on social media, including in a shopping mall, Laguna festival, and most recently, a University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball game. EDV