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When Michael Allio appeared on Season 17 of The Bachelorette, he came close to finding love before family obligations pulled him away. Things don’t always go well in Bachelor Nation.

'Bachelor in Paradise' star Michael Allio smiling
Michael Allio | Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images

But he came back this year to try his luck again, this time on Bachelor in Paradise. This time he found someone he was very interested in, Danielle Maltby. As a single dad, it’s important for him to carefully introduce her into his son’s life. And eventually, he’s going to have to explain where he met her. 

Michael Allio’s son didn’t know he was on ‘Bachelor in Paradise’

In a YouTube interview for US Weekly, Allio talked about his son James getting to know Maltby. He’s pretty young, so he doesn’t need much explanation about who she is. Allio explained that he accepted a simple introduction of Maltby as “daddy’s friend.”

At some point, he’s going to have to elaborate on where the two met. After all, it seems that James didn’t even know his dad was looking for love on TV.

“He doesn’t know that I was on Bachelor in Paradise,” he explained. “He knew I was on The Bachelorette. And he really doesn’t understand the premise of the show.” Although James doesn’t grasp a lot of the important details of the shows his dad participated in, he does get one way it’s impacted his life. 

“He just understands every now and again, we have to stop and take pictures with random people.”

He’s devoted to his son

James is Allio’s 6-year-old son, and according to US Weekly, he’s a very important part of his dad’s life. In fact, it was little James who convinced Allio to leave The Bachelorette in 2021. Although he was developing a strong connection on the show with Katie Thurston, Allio’s son missed his dad and told him so in a heart-wrenching way.

Despite their daily FaceTime sessions, James had a question. “Why don’t you want to see me anymore?” With that, Allio left the show to focus on his son. But a few years later, he was ready to try his hand at romance again.

When he went to appear on Bachelor in Paradise, he left James in the care of both sets of grandparents, confident that his son was being well taken care of and ready for the separation this time. And Allio was ready too.

“When I told him I was going away, he was like, ‘I’m going to have so much more fun than you.’ And I’m like, ‘Little do you know.'”

What happened to his wife?


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Allio isn’t a stranger to love. According to the website for his nonprofit foundation, The L4 Project, he met Laura Ritter when they were both students at Loyola University Chicago. They married in 2012, and James was born four years later, on September 9, 2016. Ritter-Allio was diagnosed with breast cancer only seven months later. Sadly, in 2019, she died from the disease. 

Allio founded The L4 Project in honor of his late wife, and on the website, he refers to her as the love of his life. The foundation’s mission is to provide support networks for cancer patients and their families. By giving them emotional and financial assistance, they let patients focus on treatment and recovery. 

One of the goals of The L4 Project is to enable people who are battling cancer to live “joyous lives.” Despite the loss that Allio and James have endured, they seem to be focusing on that goal themselves.