MANILA — Former “Pinoy Big Brother” housemate Andre Brouillette clarified on Friday that he and Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo are only “great friends,” after photos he had posted sparked rumors romantically linking them.
Brouillette went into detail about how he and Mateo are acquainted, as well as the story behind their photos, in an interview on Star Magic’s “Inside News.”
Brouillette first shared a photo where he is seen with Mateo on May 7. At the time, they had just met, he recalled.
The photo, which also includes a friend of Brouillette, was taken in Miami, near the Miss Universe pageant venue.
Brouillette was in Miami as “a fly-in host and a correspondent in Miss Universe,” he explained.
“Rabiya is Miss Universe Philippines 2020. And we have the same agency, the same team that’s managing her. I was able to meet her as I came to Miami to do hosting for Miss Universe updates,” he said.
Brouillette and Mateo have a common mentor. Brouillette is part of Mercator Talent Agency, which was founded by Jonas Gaffud. The starmaker is also the creative director of the Miss Universe Philippines organization.
Over a week after the Miss Universe competition, where Mateo finished in the top 21, Brouillette shared again another set of photos with the beauty queen on May 26.
The snaps showed them posing together in Beverly Hills, and sharing lunch with a third companion.
“I can’t control what people think. With that photo, what happened was we picked her up from the airport. We had time and we were all hungry. We went out and had a great lunch in Beverly Hills,” Brouillette said.
“My intention with uploading that photo is [to show] it was a great time with friends and a great lunch, with Miss Unvierse Philippines 2020! So, great photo to upload, right? For the memories.”
Within hours before those photos were uploaded, Mateo also shared a short clip showing Brouillette seated across her, before panning to their companion.
Incidentally, Brouillette and Mateo’s public posts came amid speculation surrounding the latter’s relationship with her boyfriend of six years, Neil Salvacion, after he appeared to remove photos of Mateo from his Instagram page.
Brouillette is known to be single, having announced his separation from actress-model Lou Yanong, his fellow “Pinoy Big Brother” graduate, in February.
Mateo has since declared that she is “not available” and that there was “no malice” in her and Brouillette spending time together.
“I can’t control the things that people say,” Brouillette said. “And also, not everything that people say is always true.”
“I try not to read into all that stuff. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and when you really read into it too much, it starts to kind of… What I’m trying to do is to fill my mind with the truth.”
Clarifying his ties with Mateo, Brouillette stressed: “We’re great friends, and I have the utmost respect for her. She’s a great person representing the Philippines. I wish her success in her life.”
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