Come on, Colton Underwood — tell us how you really feel!
The reality TV star sat down for a VERY honest new podcast interview with Bachelor Nation expert Reality Steve where he detailed his “falling out” with the ABC franchise. Nothing was off the table as the former lead, who made TV history as the first virgin to snag the role, recalled how greatly his mental health suffered as a result of the show, and the profound effect it had on how things turned out with his ex-girlfriend Cassie Randolph.
Related: Colton Underwood & Lucy Hale Are Said To Be Casually Dating Now?!
Though Colton admitted he’s “not in a good place” with the franchise right now, his discomfort with the series and its fan base started very early on during his time promoting season 23. Recalling a February 2019 incident in which a female fan allegedly groped him at a charity event, he shared:
“I just remember feeling so powerless and like such a piece of meat. That for me was a big turning point in my mental health, of like, ‘Wow, I have no clue what I’m in for right now.’ And it got pretty bad. It got dark.”
He said things only got worse when his season of The Bachelor wrapped production and he became aware of the “magnitude” of his stardom. After several public appearances where the fandom frenzy got out of hand, Underwood said he started experiencing social anxiety while out and about:
“I had so much anxiety and so much depression that I was like, throughout the majority of my season [airing], I was pretty heavily medicated. I’m not gonna lie. I was taking medication for anxiety and for depression during the whole entire season.”
The overwhelming attention is largely why the star said he’s made an effort to distance himself from the show — even after releasing a tell-all book about his experience earlier this year. The 28-year-old added:
“There’s just been too many things that I’ve found out about, and that has happened, for me to feel comfortable working with them again on a professional level, not even personal.”
Well, one thing he took very personal was how producers treated his ex Cassie during her July appearance on an episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons, Ever!, noting how he felt they took “advantage” of and “abused” her. Yes, this is the same interview that sparked a big social media spat between the exes just last month!
The former pro-football player slammed the way the sit-down chat was handled, explaining:
“I get very defensive over people I love, and I know Cass is a big girl and she could fight her own battles. But I just know her heart and she doesn’t want to rock the boat. And she loves people even if they abuse her, or even if they take advantage of her, which is what they did.”
Abuse is a very strong claim to make on someone else’s behalf! Despite the drama the appearance caused for the former couple, Underwood said he appreciated the way Randolph navigated those tough questions about their split and even texted to her say “thank you” for it. He did have some choice words for host Chris Harrison, though!
“And then you have Chris Harrison pointing questions saying, ‘I sense you don’t want to make Colton mad or you’re afraid you’re going to upset Colton. It’s like, ‘No, Chris. I literally talked to her the morning of that interview. We’re good.’ Stop worrying about me or painting me to be this controlling or angry person. I’m not angry. If there’s anybody I’m upset about or upset with it’s you guys. You’re going to have my ex on the show over your lead, which I completely get. We’re not in a good place, you know?”
Related: Stars React To Tayshia Adams as The New Bachelorette!
Speaking of the contentious breakup, the former lead also clarified it had nothing to do with those pesky rumors that he’s secretly gay:
“In regards to those rumors. I addressed it pretty heavily in the book and I’ve gone through it throughout my whole entire life. And of course it doesn’t help being on a national stage for the mental health aspect. But the bottom line is I’m not gay. I have love and support for anybody in the LGBTQ community and support that, and love is love at the end of the day. I’m sort of used to it at this point, but I don’t think I’m ever going to give a good enough answer. I’m always going to almost feel like I’m on defense probably for a very long time.”
Those allegations have been going around for a while, even with the fact that he previously dated Cassie, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, and is now rumored to be kicking it with actress Lucy Hale. That’s got to be tough, but it sounds like he’s taking it in stride. That was a lot to take in, Perezcious readers. Though the franchise helped him rise to fame, it feels pretty safe to say to that Bachelor bridge is burned now, doesn’t it? Let us know what U think (below) in the comments section.
[Image via Nicky Nelson/Sheri Determan/Instar/WENN]
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