A few years back, former “Bachelor” Nick Viall and “The O.C.” alum Rachel Bilson had the Internet buzzing with rumours that they were dating.

It all started, noted Yahoo! Life, when Bilson appeared on his podcast, “The Viall Files”, back in 2019.

That appearance was followed by an array of flirty social media comments to each other (“He slid into her…dms #sheaccepted,” Viall wrote) and captions to Instagram posts (“Will we choose to forgo our individual rooms…” read one).

READ MORE: Nick Viall Insists Rachel Bilson Is ‘Just A Friend’ Despite Dating Rumours

Making a return visit to the podcast, Bilson confirmed the rumours weren’t true — but also confessed the whole thing was a deliberate hoax designed to drum up attention.

“No, Nick and I never dated,” Bilson said on “The Viall Files”, with Viall replying, “We did troll the internet.”

According to Viall, the whole thing was his idea, which initially began when the two considered co-hosting a spin-off podcast together.

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“It was going to be called ‘Making Love With Nick and Rachel’,” Viall said. “I had an Instagram saved already for it. Then she got some gig, and then she bailed on me.”

From there, they cooked up the fake romance ruse, with Viall admitting it was because they were both “epically single” and “wanted attention.”

“It was literally to get attention for the podcast,” Bilson explained. “It was like, ‘OK, it’s a tease-up to what we’re doing.’ Even though it didn’t come to fruition, that was the intention.”