‘The Bachelor’ Colton Underwood Claims He Was Blackmailed Before Coming Out as Gay


Colton Underwood of The Bachelor

Colton Underwood has added another chapter to his coming out story. Weeks after coming out as gay during an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the former “Bachelor” star revealed that he had hookups with men before starring as ABC’s leading man. He also shared a story of being blackmailed by a fan who spotted him at a gay spa.

Underwood, who is filming a new TV series about his coming out journey, made the new claims  in a Variety cover story titled “Controversial Confession.”

“I’ll say this: I was ‘the Virgin Bachelor,’ but I did experiment with men prior to being on ‘The Bachelorette,’Underwood told the magazine.

Underwood Claimed His ‘Virgin’ Title Was Not a Lie

Underwood’s struggle with his virginity was the main theme of his “Bachelor” season in 2019. He ultimately broke up with his “Bachelor” girlfriend Cassie Randolph last May and was later accused of stalking her.

In the new interview, Underwood admitted that he had sexual experiences with men before he joined “The Bachelor franchise in 2018 as a suitor on Becca Kufrin’s season. The reality star revealed he met men on the gay dating app Grindr under an alias a year or two before joining the reality show, and later feared one of the guys he hooked up with would sell a story to a tabloid.

Underwood was careful to keep his “Virgin” title intact. “When I say ‘hookups,’ not sex,” he told Variety. “I want to make that very clear that I did not have sex with a man, prior to that.”

He added that the guilt he felt from hookups with men is what drove him to apply to be on “The Bachelorette.”

“I remember feeling so guilty, like ‘What the hell am I doing?’”  he said. “It was my first time letting myself even go there, so much so that I was like, ‘I need ‘The Bachelorette’ in my life, so I could be straight.’”

Underwood also revealed that he visited a gay spa in Los Angeles in 2020 “just to look” and that someone attempted to “blackmail” him by outing him in the press. The anonymous person claimed to have nude photos of Underwood at the spa. After “The Bachelor” star forwarded the blackmailer’s email to his publicist, it helped begin his process of coming out to the public.

Colton Underwood Now Admits He Knew He Was Gay From a Young Age

Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph break upColton Underwood and Cassie Randolph break up

GettyColton Underwood and Cassie Randolph attend the 2019 E! People’s Choice Awards.

Underwood told Variety he knew he was “different” at age six and realized he was gay by the time he was a freshman in high school.

“By the time I realized that I was gay, I didn’t want to be gay,” he admitted. “It was easy for me to hide in plain sight behind a football mask and hunting and fishing and the things that this world tells us is ‘masculine’ and ‘manly.’”

His new admissions about his sexuality are very different from what he wrote in his memoir, “The First Time,” which was released last year. In “The First Time,” Underwood detailed the bullying he endured in school, per an excerpt shared by People. He claimed the bullying was due to his appearance and socially awkward behavior.

Underwood also wrote that he became the captain of the football team in high school, but abstained from sex due to his religious faith and values and focused on athletics instead of dating.  He revealed that rumors began to circulate that he was gay when he was in high school, which made him question if it was true because he heard it so much he started to believe it. But in his book, he squashed the idea.

“I thought, maybe I am gay,’ The Bachelor star wrote. “The captain of the football team should be having sex and drinking, right? But I wasn’t.”

“Even while my season was airing, I battled the gay [rumors],” Underwood wrote in his book. “They’d say, ‘he’s gay, he’s hiding it.’ No. But I’ve been there, done that now.”

Underwood, whose first real dating relationship came after college when he dated Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman in 2016, has come under fire for going on “The Bachelor” while knowing he was gay. In the comments section to his Instagram post about the Variety interview, Underwood received some support from fans, but others blasted him for “wasting” ABC’s—and Randolph’s— time.

“You knew this before you went on the Bachelor? “ one commenter wrote. “You still went on there perpetrating a lie to every single person attached to that show….and Cassie? She’s got more grace than me bc you lied to her every day of that relationship whether you believe that or not. Now, you only came out bc you were being blackmailed? You lied to everyone again?”

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