Former Bachelor star Colton Underwood has come out as gay in an emotional interview, revealing that he attempted suicide while struggling to come to terms with his sexuality.
The 29-year-old ex-NFL player made the candid admission to Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts on Wednesday, revealing that the forced isolation during the pandemic forced him to finally ‘look at himself in the mirror’ and come to terms with his sexuality, before telling the host: ‘I’m gay.’
‘Obviously this year’s been a lot for a lot of people and it’s probably made a lot of people look themselves in the mirror and figure out who they are and what they’ve been running from or putting off in their lives and for me, I’ve ran from myself for a long time,’ he explained. ‘I’ve hated myself for a long time.’
When asked whether he ever attempted to harm himself, Colton – who was known to many as the ‘virgin Bachelor’ after revealing during The Bachelorette in 2018 that he had never had sex – admitted that there was a ‘moment in LA’ when he tried to take his own life.
‘There was a moment in LA [when] I woke up and I didn’t think I was going to wake up,’ he revealed. ‘I didn’t have the intentions of waking up and I did.’
Colton added that he is now the ‘happiest and healthiest’ he has ever been after fully embracing his sexuality, admitting that it was something he ‘never thought he was going to share’.
He also issued an apology to the women that he dated and ‘misled’ during his time on The Bachelor franchise, as well as the viewers who – as Roberts noted – ‘were cheering him on and wanting him to find love’.
‘I just wish I wouldn’t have dragged people into my own mess of figuring out who I was,’ Colton admitted.
Bombshell: Former Bachelor star Colton Underwood has come out as gay in an emotional interview, revealing that hiding his sexuality left him feeling suicidal
Hidden: The 29-year-old ex-NFL player was known as ‘the virgin Bachelor’ when he starred on the show in 2019, during which he named Cassie Randolph has his chosen winner (pictured)
Struggle: Colton admitted that his struggle with his sexuality drove him to attempt suicide, explaining that there was a ‘moment in LA… [when he] didn’t have the intentions of waking up’
‘I genuinely mean that. But I also at the same time like but I can sit here and say I’m sorry to all those women and can also say thank you because without them and without the bachelor franchise, I don’t know if like this would have ever came out.’
Colton first appeared on the Bachelor franchise in 2018 as a contestant on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette, before going on to feature on The Bachelor in Paradise later that same year. During his appearance on The Bachelorette, he revealed to Becca that he was a virgin.
He was later marketed as the ‘The Virgin Bachelor’ with his virginity becoming a focal point during his time on the dating series.
After he became the leading man on The Bachelor, the former football player ended up picking Cassie Randolph from the many hopefuls vying for his affections on the ABC reality show.
Randolph had broken things off with Underwood during the final three. He was so devastated that he ended things with the other two women and asked Randolph for a second chance without the pressure of an engagement.
Underwood agreed and the couple were in a relationship from November 2018 until May 2020.
The split initially appeared to be amicable but Randolph, 25, later filed a restraining order against Underwood, accusing her ex of stalking her and putting a tracking device on her car.
She was granted a temporary restraining order that forced Underwood to stay at least 100 yards away from her, in addition to her car, home, workplace, and school.
Looking for love: Underwood’s first stint on the ABC franchise came in 2018 as a contestant on Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette
Big deal: He was marketed as the ‘The Virgin Bachelor’ with his virginity becoming a focal point during his time on the dating series
Randolph accused Underwood of harassing her with text messages and showing up at her home uninvited. She also claimed he would loiter outside her parents house in Huntington Beach, California in the early hours of the morning.
The GMA post garnered a lot of backlash on Tuesday as Twitter users criticized the morning show’s choice to give Underwood a platform and voice following the serious accusations made against him last year.
Later, Randolph dismissed the restraining order against Underwood, and requested to drop the police investigation.
‘Underwood had released a statement to the media, explaining the pair resolved the matter privately. ‘Cassie asked the court to dismiss the temporary restraining order against me,’ he said.
‘The two of us were able to reach a private agreement to address any of Cassie’s concerns. I do not believe Cassie did anything wrong in filing for the restraining orders and also believe she acted in good faith. I appreciate everyone’s respect for privacy regarding this matter.’
Troubled: Underwood’s split from Randolph initially appeared to be amicable but Randolph, 25, later filed a restraining order against him, accusing her ex of stalking her and putting a tracking device on her car
The Indiana-born reality star has previously spoken about his past struggles surrounding his own sexual identity and how he has previously questioned his sexuality.
In his memoir The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV, Underwood opens up about how he has in the past questioned whether he is gay.
He details a particular experience in high school that he battled with throughout his life, in which he was ‘super insecure’ and ‘thought he was gay.’
He writes that there was often talk about his sexuality because he was a football player who abstained from sex.
‘It was one of those things where you hear something so often, you start believing it.
‘I thought, maybe I am gay. The captain of the football team should be having sex and drinking, right? But I wasn’t.’
Underwood continued to say that he would search ‘Am I gay?’ online.
The Indiana-born reality star has previously spoken about his past struggles surrounding his own sexual identity and how he has previously questioned his sexuality. Seen here in November 2019
He added, ‘I didn’t know who I was. And I come from an athletic family, so it was always, “Move on, you’re good.” So that threw me off. In high school, when I was struggling with my sexuality, I’m not going to talk to my parents about it. So I internalized it.’
During his stint on The Bachelor, Underwood was still plagued by gay rumors.
‘Even while my season was airing, I battled the gay [rumors]’ he said. ‘They’d say, “he’s gay, he’s hiding it.” No. But I’ve been there, done that now.’
‘Even while my season was airing, I battled the gay [rumors]’ he said. ‘They’d say, “he’s gay, he’s hiding it.” Underwood said of his time on the dating show
Figuring it out: In an interview with Entertainment Tonight , Underwood said that Bachelor Nation showed him he was straight
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Underwood said that Bachelor Nation showed him he was straight.
‘[The show taught me] that I’m straight and I’m very, very attracted to Cassie [Randolph] and women — but it would have been OK if it would have been the other way too. I think that’s the biggest message I have for people,’
While he made no secret that he was a virgin on The Bachelor, since filming wrapped he has admitted that it was ‘overplayed’ by producers.
After his finale aired, he spoke out to say he did not feel exploited, but he felt his sexuality was ‘overplayed.’
‘I don’t think it was exploited in a negative way. Do I think it was overplayed? Yes. That’s what I can say,’ Underwood told Variety. ‘But exploited? No.’