Viewers were told that Dan, from Wales, had messaged and sent her flowers after watching the show, and the pair began chatting online before he flew over to the US to meet her in person.
Rumours soon swirled as to whether romance would blossom between the pair who enjoyed a number of dates together, including sushi-making at home – in front of her parents.
Shauna admitted that they’d shared a kiss but, in a later update made it clear that they weren’t compatible as a love match. Dan spends his life travelling the world while Shauna, as her sister put it, doesn’t like to leave the house, so a serious relationship was pretty much off the cards.
Despite this, numerous commentators questioned Dan’s intentions with Shauna, with some suggesting there was “something not right” with someone who is interested in a woman who “looks and talks like an eight-year-old”.
Shauna and Dan's Cutest Moments From Season 2 | I Am Shauna Rae | TLCyoutu.be
Three weeks later, Dan posted a video to Instagram and TikTok offering an “official response” to “all the hate” insisting that he and Shauna were “good friends” who were “getting to know each other”.
But, he then stressed, he thought some people’s attitude towards her was “absolutely disgusting”.
“How dare you take away her right, her human right, to have a connection, a friendship, a relationship with someone else? Who are you to say that she can’t have that?” he asked.
“I am absolutely disgusted about some people’s attitudes towards her and my friendship with her. I cannot believe some people who deny her the right to have a friendship or a connection with someone else.
“She is a human being, she’s a cancer survivor, she’s got a disability, she has dwarfism. Who are you to take away her right to have a friendship and connection with someone? How dare you? How dare you?”
On Tuesday (7 March) he posted a new update to his Instagram stories, condemning a celeb gossip report which labelled him “Shauna Rae’s Ex-Boyfriend”.
"Literally every single time I go on Facebook or YouTube all I see are videos of me and Shauna," he wrote alongside a screengrab of the headline.
He then reiterated: “Me and Shauna are still good friends getting to know each other.”
Dan continues to insist that he and Shauna are just friends@danswygart/Instagram
Despite the hate Dan received, there is also a happy side to his and Shauna’s story, as he explained in his January update.
“So many people who have disabilities or they have friends and families who have disabilities have reached out and said, thank you for showcasing that it’s OK to build a connection of friendship with someone who’s different by society’s standards,” he said in his video message.
“It’s given so many people hope that despite them being different they, too, can find an amazing friendship and connection with someone.”
He added: “I’m so proud to have had that positive impact on the world.”
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