Rachel Lindsay Discusses Her ‘Bachelor’ Journey, ‘Toxic’ Fandom & Chris Harrison in New Essay

Rachel Lindsay is speaking out.

In case you missed it, the 36-year-old Bachelorette alum interviewed longtime host Chris Harrison back in February.

During their interview, Chris defended Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell against backlash over her past racist behavior. He later apologized for his comments and ultimately left the series.

In a new essay for Vulture, the reality TV star opened up about Chris‘ exit from the series, how producers from the franchise behaved behind the scenes and the toxic fandom surrounding The Bachelor.

Click inside to read more…

Rachel reflected on her relationship with Chris before their interview, writing, “I wouldn’t say Chris and I were friends, exactly. When you’re the Bachelorette, you’re traveling with him, sitting in hotels and airports. There’s a lot of hurrying up and waiting, and he’s the one you do it with.”

“During my season and after, he became someone who gave me advice on how to navigate the show and the celebrity of it. I called him my fairy godfather. We’d had our highs and lows, but there had been mutual respect until this interview,” she continued.

Rachel shared that at one point during filming for the show she had a discussion with her castmate Vanessa Grimaldi, who ultimately went on to win the season, that ended in Vanessa crying and claiming that Rachel had bullied her.

“When it was over, I stormed out — and of course the producers said, ‘Let’s talk about that. Why would you not show emotion?’ I lost it in the interview,” Rachel revealed. “I was bawling. I tried to explain, ‘You do not understand what it is to be a Black woman in this house full of white folks and for a white woman to cry in your face and call you a bully. Did she call any of the other women a bully? No, she picked me. One, because she knew I was a threat — Nick liked me the second most. Two, I felt she was projecting an unconscious bias onto me. I said, ‘I hope y’all show this in its entirety.’ An executive producer pulled me to the side and said, ‘This will never air.’”

She also recalled a night where she felt “protected” by her producers.

“Another time, I’d had two mixed drinks, and I was out-of-my-mind wasted. Astrid [Loch] was holding my hair back in the bathroom. (I drunkenly told her, ‘You are my only real friend.’) They could have brought cameras in there. They didn’t,” Rachel wrote. “I sat in the ceremony that day as Nick gave out roses, my head resting on Astrid’s shoulder. My hair was disheveled. I wasn’t always like that, but all it takes is one mess-up. They could have taken those clips and depicted me as a wild Jezebel. They didn’t because I would never come out on top.”

Rachel explained her decision to walk away from the franchise, writing that she was “exhausted from defending [herself] against a toxic fandom.

“The fandom had always had a complicated relationship with me,” she said. “There is a Bachelor Nation, and there is a Bachelor Klan. Bachelor Klan is hateful, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, and homophobic. They are afraid of change. They are afraid to be uncomfortable. They are afraid when they get called out.”

The former lawyer also revealed that she initially turned down The Bachelorette, but reconsidered when a woman at church spoke with her at church.

“They said, ‘My daughter likes the show. I’m so excited she can see someone who represents her. And if the rumors are right, you go far,’” Rachel said. “I started wondering if I was looking at it the wrong way.”

Rachel finished her essay by saying she would “cautiously” watch Michelle Young‘s upcoming season to “uplift and support her” as the next Black Bachelorette.

It was recently revealed that Chris will receive a huge payout after his exit from the series.

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