“The Bachelor”'s Maria Says Beef with Lea and Sydney Is 'Squashed' but Jess Drama Remains: 'To Be Continued' (Exclusive)

Maria Georgas told PEOPLE she felt like "a weight has been lifted” following Monday's Women Tell All special

<p>Disney/Richard Middlesworth (4)</p>

Disney/Richard Middlesworth (4)

'The Bachelor' season 28 contestants (from left) Sydney, Maria, Lea and Jess

Maria Georgas returned to The Bachelor on Monday to move past some of the season’s drama.

Maria, 29, addressed her issues with Lea Cayanan, Sydney Gordon and Jess Edwards during the Women Tell All special. Following the taping, the executive assistant told PEOPLE she considers her beef with Lea, 23, and Sydney, 28, “finished and squashed.”

“We actually made up and I respect those girls,” Maria said. “I said this to Sydney, because she said to me, ‘I don't think you were this, that, and the other thing. I don't believe that anymore. I'm sorry that I said those things.’ And I was like, ‘You know what? I believe you didn't think those things of me. I think that you were just trying to go to bat for someone.’"

"I don't know what she was trying to do. But I do believe that she didn't mean those things," she added.

Related: Joey Graziadei Calls Himself a 'Fun-Size Bachelor' and Maria Decides Her Fate Following Sydney Drama

Maria and Sydney butted heads on Joey Graziadei’s season after Maria said she didn’t understand Madina Alam’s concerns about being the oldest contestant on the show. Sydney called Maria a bully and accused her of being “catty.” Joey then sent Sydney home after a two-on-one date with the vintage store owner and Maria.

After Sydney’s departure, Lea continued leading the charge against Maria and got mad at Madina, 31, for being nice to Maria. Lea referred to Maria as “a drama queen cry baby” and told Joey that she and some of the other women were shocked by his decision to keep Maria.

<p>Disney/John Fleenor</p> Sydney (left) and Maria on 'The Bachelor'

Disney/John Fleenor

Sydney (left) and Maria on 'The Bachelor'

As for Jess, she got mad at Maria for talking to Joey during a cocktail party when she already had a rose. Jess found Maria’s behavior disrespectful and she left the cocktail party in tears.

Speaking to PEOPLE, Maria said Jess’s behavior during Women Tell All “kind of surprised me.”

“I don't know where she's at,” Maria continued. “She apologized to me after calling me a bitch. And we were good since then. And then she tried to come at me and I was like, ‘Listen, I thought I was going to tell the world that we were good and then you're trying to play me.’ So Jess, I don't know yet. To be continued.”

<p>Disney/John Fleenor</p> Jess and Joey Graziadei on 'The Bachelor'

Disney/John Fleenor

Jess and Joey Graziadei on 'The Bachelor'

Still, Maria, who Joey eliminated after hometown dates, felt “great” about how everything unfolded on Monday’s episode.

“A weight has been lifted,” she said. “I feel like now I can go out into the world and just be myself and not have to be asked many questions. I feel good.”

<p>Disney/Jan Thijs</p> Joey Graziadei and Lea on 'The Bachelor'

Disney/Jan Thijs

Joey Graziadei and Lea on 'The Bachelor'

The reality star believes that watching the show back has given her closure. “Being able to see his thoughts and he's saying what he's saying, just all together seeing him with the other women as well. It just all came together the way it needed to be,” Maria said. “That gave me closure.”

As for whether she’d consider going on Bachelor in Paradise, Maria “won’t say ‘no,’” she said.

“I know a lot of people would love to see me on the beach," she noted. "It's funny because before going on the show, my dad’s like, ‘OK, I'm accepting Bachelor. Definitely not Bachelor in Paradise.’ But I'm open. Bachelor's hard. But Bachelor in Paradise is kind of fun.”

Related: Who Went Home on The Bachelor Season 28? Joey Graziadei's Order of Elimination

Maria previously acknowledged the drama on the show in a TikTok video she posted last month.

“I’m not innocent in this,” Maria admitted. “I like to say that I am a woman who speaks her mind and will defend herself at all costs, that’s just how I was raised. But if I could go back, I would do things differently – especially when whatever you’re gonna say or do is just not gonna make the other person happy. So next time I’m gonna just zip it.”

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The Bachelor's season 28 finale airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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