Colton Underwood says he was blackmailed into popping out

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Colton Underwood, the primary star of “The Bachelor” franchise to come back out, says he was blackmailed earlier than he introduced final month that he’s homosexual.

In an unique new interview with Selection, Underwood mentioned he “secretly visited a spa recognized for catering to homosexual clientele. Shortly thereafter, he obtained an nameless electronic mail, which has been reviewed by Selection, from somebody claiming to have taken his nude photographs on the venue.”

Underwood, a former skilled soccer participant, mentioned the incident compelled him to come back out to his publicist. That led to his public announcement in an interview with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” in April.

Underwood confirmed to Selection that he has a Netflix sequence within the works about his coming-out journey, with fellow homosexual athlete Gus Kenworthy performing as his information.

Whereas initially praised for his choice to come back out, Underwood, 29, has weathered his justifiable share of controversy, together with allegations of harassment.

After showing as a contestant on “The Bachelorette,” he was solid in “Bachelor in Paradise” (each in 2018), the place he had a fling with fellow contestant Tia Sales space. In 2019, he was chosen because the resident Prince Charming for Season 23 of “The Bachelor,” the flagship sequence of ABC’s wildly common relationship present franchise.

Underwood and Season 23 winner Cassie Randolph entered right into a relationship, throughout which he contracted COVID-19. They broke up in Might 2020, prompting on-line harassment of Randolph by “Bachelor” followers.

Just a few months later, Randolph filed a restraining order towards Underwood. She claimed Underwood had stalked and harassed her, together with putting in a monitoring gadget on the bumper of her automotive.

Colton’s Netflix present prompted backlash, with greater than 35,000 folks signing a Change.org petition to scrap the sequence moderately than characteristic somebody allegedly responsible of “abusive, manipulative and harmful conduct.”

Underwood’s popping out despatched shockwaves by way of Bachelor Nation. He additionally obtained help, together with from celebrities resembling Billy Eichner, who had beforehand instructed him throughout a visitor look on “The Bachelor”: “Possibly you’re the primary homosexual Bachelor, and we don’t even know.”

Speaking to Selection, Underwood addressed among the controversy he has confronted since then.

“I by no means need folks to assume that I’m popping out to vary the narrative, or to brush over and never take accountability for my actions, and now that I’ve this homosexual life that I don’t have to handle my previous as a straight man,” Underwood mentioned. “Controlling conditions to attempt to grasp at any a part of the straight fantasy that I used to be making an attempt to dwell out was so fallacious.”

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