Everything Colton said about his nasty split from Cassie — and the backlash he got after coming out because of the drama with his ex.
Colton Underwood spoke at length about the fallout from his relationship with Cassie Randolph, who won the final rose on his season of “The Bachelor” before the reality star eventually came out as gay following their nasty split.
In “Coming Out Colton,” Netflix’s new six-part docuseries chronicling Underwood’s initial coming out, Cassie came up quite a few times throughout the season — as many in Colton’s inner circle wondered what the hell was going on that led to her filing a restraining order against him alleging that he was “stalking” and “harassing” her since their breakup and had even put a tracker on her car. Though she later dropped the restraining order, both Randolph and Underwood haven’t said too much about what really went down.
In the first episode of the series, Underwood explained that he had been struggling with his sexuality before “The Bachelor” — but truly believed all it would take was “one really good girl to change” him. That woman, he thought, was Cassie. “I felt myself becoming more of a straight man,” he said of being around her, adding that he felt like he had “found somebody who could change me.”
After the breakup, however, Colton said he “started to spiral.”
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“I was f—ed up. I was suppressing my sexuality so hard. I was taking medication daily to deal with depression and anxiety and that made me a paranoid freak,” he said, as a headline about the restraining order and her allegations were shown on screen. “I didn’t trust a whole lot of people and I was trying to do anything and everything to protect a secret. I lost my mind and I did some things, I said some things I’m not proud of. And that’s not me making excuses for what I did, because I did f— up. I made mistakes and I will take ownership of that.”
After coming out to one of his best friends, a woman named Kassidy, he went on to explain that he attempted suicide after the breakup.
“I had a pretty bad weekend in L.A. After the breakup with Cassie, it was pretty rough. I hit rock bottom. I took a lot of Xanax, not thinking I was gonna wake up the next morning,” he told her. “I did. It was pretty bad. I literally drove home that day. I drove back to Colorado. That was, for me, I only have one life. Something’s gotta change or I’m not gonna be here. I wanna be here. It’s in the past now. That was tough.”
In the second episode, Underwood is seen coming out to his father for the first time. The drama revolving around his split from Randolph came up again when his dad asked Colton when he first really confronted his sexuality and started feeling the happiest in his life.
“This sounds terrible, but the day I got the restraining order on me was when I knew something had to change,” he told his dad. “I was so attached to a traditional life and my straight relationship, I knew she was my last straight relationship. And I didn’t want to let that go because I didn’t want to have to deal with this.”
In a confessional, crying as he spoke, he reiterated that he fled back to Colorado from Los Angeles after “all the public stuff” that went down with Cassie.
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Later in the series — on the fifth episode, which was filmed the night before his big coming out interview with Robin Roberts — Colton was seen in a confessional saying he feared that people would see his coming out as a way to “try and save my image” and “bury the drama that I had with Cassie,” telling viewers “that’s the furthest thing from the truth.” He added, “If anything, the reason I’m coming out is I’m ashamed and sort of mortified of what got me to this position in the first place.”
As he and his father talked about Colton’s other concerns about the Good Morning America interview, his dad recalled how Underwood “went off the rails” after being on “The Bachelor.”
“Cassie filed a restraining order against you. Said you tracked her, said you stalked her. If it was over and you’re gay, why go to those extremes?” his father asked. “I knew that if I let her go, I would have to deal with me and I didn’t want to and I wasn’t ready to,” he told him. When his dad asked whether he’d be married to Cassie now had she accepted a proposal, Colton said that, yes, he probably would be.
After filming the interview but before it had aired for the world, Colton, his dad and Gus Kenworthy had a conversation about how they felt his coming out would be received by the public. As they spoke, Colton revealed he hadn’t spoken to Cassie about coming out and said she would be finding out he was gay the same time everyone else did.
“I wish things hadn’t ended the way they did, so I could have at least given her a heads up and been like, actually conversate about it,” added Underwood. While Gus felt confident Colton would hear from Cassie after the announcement, Underwood and his father didn’t think that would be the case. As far as we can tell, they were right.
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After the interview aired, a wave of backlash erupted on social media — as many believed his coming out wasn’t an excuse for what happened with Cassie and he hadn’t really said anything to address his behavior. People were also ticked at Netflix and ABC for giving Underwood a platform, calling him a stalker and abuser.
“I think I was preparing for a mixed reaction and the negative reactions were a little bit louder,” said Colton. “As happy as I was to come out and have a lot of people there for me and in my corner, it goes away pretty quickly when you start reading some of the comments.”
“The headlines and social media starts calling me out for being a stalker, being an abuser and asking why I haven’t addressed those allegations,” Underwood added in a confessional. “There’s only so much I can do in regards to the Cassie of it all. Legally, I can’t talk about it and the only person I have to blame is myself. I’m feeling pretty down this week … I’m spiraling a little bit.”
As the backlash continued to pile on, Underwood was seen meeting with a transgender reverend to open up about his issues.
“My last relationship was with someone who I met on ‘The Bachelor,’ Cassie. And I held onto that relationship out of fear of being a gay man, not out of anything other than that,” he told her. “I did things that were messed up. I was paranoid, I was scared. I was terrified of myself, I was terrified of who I was gonna become. I was literally, I can say, mentally unstable. I undid so many good memories. I’ve texted the things that I texted and said the things that I said out of insecurities and that was me controlling the narrative and trying to stay in control of my life.”
Adding that he was “mortified” about what he did to Cassie, he said he was “even more mortified of the effect that it had on her and her family and her friends.” Underwood added, “I put a poor girl through hell of my own insecurities and all I can do is say sorry.”
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After that session, he was also seen meeting up with two mutual friends of his and Cassie’s, hoping to answer any questions they had for him about his behavior and to hopefully “let them understand why I might have lied or deceived them.”
“First and foremost, I want to say sorry to you guys. I went through a lot this past year but I could have handled the situations in LA a lot different,” he began. “I should have told you guys I was going on GMA, I was coming out.”
One of the men, Joseph, was happy Colton was now living his truth — but wasn’t ready to just give a pass for what he had done.
“I’m going to tell you straight up, what you f—ing put her through is bullshit. You f—ed up and there is no excuse, whatsoever for everything that you did,” he told Underwood. “Scared her and put her in a situation, it wasn’t comfortable for her. Yes, you are a gay man, which has been a part of your life journey, but at the end of the day it is no excuse for everything you’ve put her through.”
Underwood’s post-coming out tour continued with him meeting up with Fran Drescher and her ex Peter Marc Jacobson. Random, yes, but the two were married for 20 years before he came out as gay following their divorce. Like Colton, Peter said he became very controlling before the two separated and things got so bad, she just wanted out. Though they went through a really rough patch, they came out of it as friends on the other side — something Colton hoped to have with at least “some of the women that I’ve dated” in the future.
From there, he met up with Onyeka Ehie, a contestant on his season of “The Bachelor” who publicly supported him immediately after he came out. He told her he hoped she and the other women didn’t feel “duped” or “betrayed,” before admitting he was not in “a good place” to be on the show.
As they continued to talk about their time on “The Bachelor,” he opened up about his concerns going into the Fantasy Suite date as a virgin, for his overnight with Tayshia Adams. “I knew I was attracted to men. I felt like, if I lose my virginity in the Fantasy Suite, is it going to please me enough to keep me wanting to be straight?” he said he wondered. “Crossing that line, it was such a big deal, because it would force me one way or the other.”
He went on to praise Tayshia for being “so respectful,” calling her classy, nurturing, great and awesome — and recalling how he covered up in sweatpants and a sweatshirt so she wouldn’t get the impression he wanted them to sleep together.
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Of course, Randolph didn’t appear on the show at all and she has made it pretty clear she won’t really be speaking about what went down in public anytime soon, Underwood ended the show saying he knows the fact that he’s found “internal freedom and happiness” doesn’t “erase my past and what I’ve been through.”
“I’ve been seeing a therapist for a while now and I think it’s really important to continue to have these conversations with people,” he added. “I’m going to go out of my way every day to try to become a better person and just learn from some of my mistakes.”