DWTS and Diva Costars Say Jake and Vienna's Split Was No Surprise

06/25/2010 at 01:00 AM EDT

DWTS and Diva Costars Say Jake and Vienna's Split Was No Surprise
Mark Brendel/ABC
While the announcement of Jake Pavelka's split from fiancé Vienna Girardi came as a surprise to those who have worked closest to Pavelka in the past few weeks, the break-up itself wasn't a shock.

Drop Dead Diva actress Kate Levering, with whom Pavelka shot scenes on June 18 for his upcoming guest appearance on the Lifetime series, tells PEOPLE, "I asked him if they were still together and he said that they were really happy and living in L.A., that they weren't talking about marriage yet but they were together. I'm sure, probably, that they were obviously on the outs, but he didn't mention anything. He was very classy about it."

And although she hasn't spoken to the pair recently, Chelsie Hightower, Pavelka's professional partner on Dancing With the Stars, says, "I'm not necessarily surprised that they broke up. I think it would be hard to get to know anybody on a reality TV show, to get to know who they really were, with the pressure of the cameras and the other contestants and all the other factors that add into it."

Nonetheless, "I wish both of them really well," Hightower says. "I've gotten to know both of them and I think they are both good and hope that they find better matches for themselves. They have to find who inspire them to be better than they already are."



Both co-workers say that Pavelka is committed to the job once he's on it. When he was on Dancing With the Stars, Pavelka did not talk much about his relationship with Vienna. "Granted that we were under the stresses of the show," Hightower says, "but he didn't say much. For the most part he was cooperative and was super-into the competition and wanted to do well. He had a good work ethic."

On the set of Drop Dead Diva, Levering says Pavelka "was really open to answering questions, and I am a fan of the Bachelor, so I was really curious! I wanted to know everything. I wanted him to give me all the secret dirt, but he didn't spill. He was very, very classy about everything, and I am sure he has information that he is keeping tucked away somewhere!"

Pavelka, 32, reveals in this week's PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, that "trust issues" were at the center of his split with Girardi, 24.

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