Why Bachelorette's Michelle Young Landed In Hot Water Over A Hefty Check From ABC

At the culmination of Season 18 of ABC's "The Bachelorette," in 2021, Michelle Young and Nayte Olukoya got engaged. Olukoya, naturally, popped the question in front of the cameras, telling Young, "Michelle, the very first night I met you, I knew right then and there that we had a connection that I wanted to hold on to," as Us Weekly reported at the time.

Young was living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while Olukoya resided in Austin, Texas. During the season finale, Kaitlyn Bristowe, the host of "After the Final Rose," touched upon the issue of the fiancés not residing in the same place. Young and Olukoya quickly clarified that they planned to move in together within a matter of months. "I'm moving to Minnesota. No hesitation," Olukoya confirmed. What neither party expected was ABC helping them make their dream a reality, gifting the couple $200,000 as a downpayment for a house. Visibly shocked, they were thrilled.

However, things went south a short while later with the reality stars calling things off in June 2022. While they both coped with the split in their respective ways, questions about the hefty paycheck Young and Olukoya received from ABC started being posed. For her part, Young claimed that she would donate her half of the $200,000 to a charitable cause, per Us Weekly. However, Olukoya called her out on the "Bachelor Rush Hour With Dave Neal" podcast, arguing, "[What Young] said she did with that money is complete garbage." 

The former couple never actually got the money

While speaking to Dave Neal, "The Bachelorette's" Nayte Olukoya divulged that neither he nor Michelle Young actually received the $200,000 gift from ABC. "You can't be upset about money that's never touched your pocket," he asserted, referring to Young's claims that she cried about wanting to donate her half. Following their breakup, Young reportedly contacted a producer on "The Bachelorette," upset about whether she was permitted to donate her share of the substantial sum. At the time, the reality star said, "That was gifted to both of us, and I think that's something that is going to be decided on how that's going to be utilized going forward," (via Us Weekly). 

Young also noted that she was in the process of working out the specifics, going as far as declaring that she was planning to establish her own charitable organization using her $100,000 share. "I always thought that was hilarious," Olukoya told Neal, revealing that ABC had a set of conditions the former couple had to fulfill to access the gifted funds. 

According to him, the stipulation required the $200,000 to be utilized solely as a down payment for a house within the initial year of receipt. However, as of April 2022, the exes were still living separately and hadn't settled on a property to purchase, resulting in them not receiving the money, per Us Weekly. Additionally, one of ABC's conditions was not to break up, according to Olukoya, which they obviously failed to do.

Olukoya knew it was not meant to be with Young

While Michelle Young was busy figuring out what she would do with ABC's hefty check, Nayte Olukoya was sure they'd break up eventually. "I just knew it wasn't going to last," he admitted on the "Bachelor Rush Hour With Dave Neal" podcast. There were subtle hints the reality pair wouldn't stand the test of time, with Olukoya acknowledging that they were taking it slow with moving in and getting married in February 2022, which was in stark contrast to his "no hesitation" mindset months earlier.

In June 2022, Olukoya and Young took to their respective Instagram accounts to announce their split. Olukoya informed Neal that the entire process was anxiety-inducing for him but that he was ultimately relieved when the relationship ended. Conversely, Young was heartbroken. During an appearance on "The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous" podcast, she confessed, "I will say that this is not something that I foresaw and I'll leave it there." Shortly after going public with their separation, rumors about Olukoya cheating on Young began circulating. 

According to Entertainment Tonight, the winner of "The Bachelorette" set the record straight on his Instagram Stories, writing, "No, I didn't cheat. Not every breakup needs to have someone to blame." Olukoya also hinted that the couple's increasing fame played a role in their relationship falling apart but he refrained from disclosing specific details. Young has since moved on with a new man, while Olukoya's relationship status remains unknown at the time of writing.