Colton Underwood says blackmail threat forced him to come out as gay

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Colton Underwood, who rose to fame on The Bachelor, has opened up about his decision to come out as gay, revealing that he was blackmailed over his sexuality.

In his first in-depth interview since coming out on Good Morning America in April, Colston said someone had threatened to out him.

Underwood told Variety that he went to a gay spa in Los Angeles “just to look”, and afterwards he received an anonymous email threatening to leak nude photos from the visit.

“I’ll just say it,” he said. “I, at one point, during my rock bottom and spiral, was getting blackmailed. Nobody knows I was blackmailed.”

The reality star said he then sent the email to his publicist, who he knew would not “ruin” him, and eventually came out to him as gay. He later came out publicly on GMA.

Underwood also revealed that he attempted suicide in summer 2020, when he was at his “saddest and most confused and most hurt”.

Colton UnderwoodCopyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Colton UnderwoodCopyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

He added that his father had found gay pornography on his computer when he was in the eighth grade, and he had told him he was “curious and I was exploring and just looking”.

In dating show The Bachelor, Underwood’s virginity was famously in the spotlight leading up to his season. “I could never give anybody a good enough answer about why I was a virgin,” he later said. “The truth is I was ‘the virgin Bachelor’ because I was gay, and I didn’t know how to handle that.”

After the show, Underwood dated Cassie Randolph, the finalist from his 2019 season of The Bachelor. They announced their split in May 2020 and, in September, Randolph filed for a restraining order against Underwood after he allegedly stalked and harassed her. She dropped the charges the following month.

Underwood told Variety that he “did not physically touch or physically abuse Cassie in any way, shape or form”.

He said: “I never want people to think that I’m coming out to change the narrative, or to brush over and not take responsibility for my actions, and now that I have this gay life that I don’t have to address my past as a straight man. Controlling situations to try to grasp at any part of the straight fantasy that I was trying to live out was so wrong.”

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