Rachel Lindsay exited the Bachelor Nation franchise officially in April, and she is opening up now in an op-ed for New York Magazine. The 36-year-old Bachelorette interviewed Chris Harrison in February, and during the course of the interview, he set the stage for his ouster by defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell‘s racially charged social media posts.
She discussed her relationship with “toxic” Bachelor Nation fans and the producers behind the scenes.
She said of a scene in which Vanessa Grimaldi accused her of bullying: “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.'”
On toxic fans: “I’m exhausted from defending myself against a toxic fandom. The fandom had always had a complicated relationship with me. … 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.”
Of her relationship with Harrison, she said: “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 said: “In the beginning, you’re stuck in the mansion. I hated it. I always tell people it was the dirtiest place ever. Think the movie The Money Pit. Once you get inside, you see the cracks in the foundation. Appliances don’t work; the backyard is not complete. (This in addition to 22 women living in three rooms.) By the time we left, my eyes were puffy. I had an allergic reaction from the lack of sleep, drinking too much, and feeling dehydrated.”