Whitney Way Thore Revealed Split from Ex Because 'A Baby Isn't Something That Can Remain Private'

When Whitney Way Thore found out that her now ex-fiancé Chase Severino was expecting a child with another woman, she wanted to grieve on her own, but she felt like it was necessary to go public with the news to stop the “rumors” about their relationship.

Thore, 36, decided to announce the split on May 22, soon after she discovered that Severino had cheated, she tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“I learned this news myself fairly recently," she says. "It wasn’t something I’d been sitting with for months and months, but once I saw rumors about our relationship — after I finally deleted our photos on Instagram, for example — I knew I just wanted to get it over with and announce it so I could fully start to move on."

Thore also decided to be fully open about the circumstances — not just that Severino had cheated, but that he would become a father in the fall.

“It’s a difficult thing to navigate — honestly, I would have rather not said it, just to avoid the inevitable backlash and gossip, but at the same time, people in their lives already knew of course and a baby isn’t something that can remain private in the future,” she says. “I definitely didn’t want it to look like I wasn’t aware of the full situation, but at the same time, I truly just don’t want the drama and the gossip.”

“I’m hurting and all of that just compounds it. I’m looking forward to a more positive future.”

The days have been challenging since she first shared the news on Instagram, Thore says.

“It’s difficult for strangers to have such strong opinions about something so personal, and even though so many people have been incredibly nice and sympathetic, it doesn’t really make the day to day much easier.”

Thore had planned on taking a social media break to heal, but came back on Monday to support the Black Lives Matter movement and speak out against police violence. She also shared that she donated $1,000 to Campaign Zero, which advocates for police accountability and reform.

But otherwise, Thore is continuing to social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic, and says she’s living with her friend Buddy Bell.

“Luckily, Buddy has been with me for the last month,” she says. “I still haven’t left the house due to coronavirus, so he grocery shops and cooks and it’s been great not to be physically alone during this time since I’m not able to see my family and other friends.”

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