Bachelor Colton Underwood Comes Out As Gay — But Doesn't Excuse Him For Stalking Cassie Randolph

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Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph after the Bachelor

Former Bachelor Colton Underwood has come out to the public as gay, opening up about his relief in doing so during a recent "Good Morning America" interview with Robin Roberts.

“I’ve ran from myself for a long time. I’ve hated myself for a long time,” Underwood said. “And I’m gay. I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it... I'm still nervous but, yeah, it's been a journey for sure.”

"Through the nerves I can see the joy," Roberts said, to which Underwood replied, "Yeah, I mean I'm emotional but I'm emotional in like such a good, happy, positive way. I'm like the happiest and healthiest I've ever been in my life."

While we're all applauding Underwood's strength and bravery in finally coming out, and can appreciate how difficult it must have been for him to do so, it's difficult not to wonder how he is also processing the way his journey compromised the health of happiness of his Bachelor ex, Cassie Randolph.

Underwood, 29, had a turbulent relationship with Randolph, 25, both during and after their appearance on season 23 of “The Bachelor” in 2019.

He broke the show’s rules when he pursued her even after she had dumped him. And in 2020, their messy breakup was marked by restraining orders and stalking allegations.

Has Colton Underwood apologized to Cassie Randolph for harassing and stalking her?

Underwood offered an indirect apology to Randolph during his GMA interview, saying, “I would like to say sorry for how things ended. I messed up. I made a lot of bad choices.”

He now claims his actions were all part of his struggle to accept his own sexuality and added, “I wish that I would have been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else."

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While we’re glad to know that “The Virgin Bachelor” is on the path to self-acceptance, his struggles do not negate the pain inflicted on Randolph.

Colton Underwood was accused of stalking Cassie Randolph after their breakup.

Over a year after appearing on “The Bachelor,” Underwood and Randolph’s relationship came to a messy end, with Randolph ultimately filing for and being granted a temporary restraining order against the former NFL player.

Randolph claimed Underwood had put a tracking device on her car and was stalking her and tracking her whereabouts after they had broken up.

Randolph also alleged Underwood would bombard her with unwanted texts and show up unannounced to her apartment and her parents’ home.

After Randolph dropped the charges, Underwood released a statement saying, “Today, Cassie asked the court to dismiss the temporary restraining order against me. The two of us were able to reach a private agreement to address any of Cassie’s concerns. I do not believe Cassie did anything wrong in filing for the restraining orders and also believe she acted in good faith. I appreciate everyone’s respect for privacy regarding this matter.”

At the time, friends of Randolph claimed she wanted to deal with the fallout of the relationship in private. She had previously expressed her frustration at Underwood’s attempts to monetize their relationship and break up.

Underwood later released a tell-all book detailing their relationship, while Randolph has remained largely silent. And now, it's been announced he just closed a deal with Netflix for his own unscripted reality show.

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Despite Randolph’s repeatedly requesting that Underwood refrain from speaking publicly about their relationship, Underwood appeared to address their split during his coming-out interview.

“I got into a place with my personal life that was dark, and bad, and I can list a bunch of different things, but they’d all be excuses,” the 29-year-old said.

"I loved everything about her. And that only made it harder and more confusing for me," he continued. "I'm sorry for the pain and emotional stress I caused. I wish it wouldn't have happened the way it did.”

But let's be sure not to romanticize his actions by allowing him to label them acts of love.

Behavior that inflicts trauma, fear and/or pain hate on someone else is not love, nor is it acceptable to use your own internal pain to excuse what you do to others.

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Underwood has clearly faced internal conflict many will be able to relate to throughout his coming-out journey.

Raised as a Catholic, Underwood implied that his religious upbringing, bullying he faced in school after rumors swirled about his sexuality and subtle homophobia within football culture prevented him from coming out.

He also revealed that he struggled with mental health problems, including suicidal thoughts, as he came to terms with his sexuality.

Randolph was evidently on the receiving end of Underwood’s personal demons.

Underwood’s coming out certainly contextualizes some of the pain inflicted on Randolph.

Those who are hurting internally often hurt others; however contextualizing matters does not justify them.

Perhaps the empathy Underwood now receives will also be shared with Randolph and she will be given her space to deal with the aftermath of their traumatic breakup rather than having to rehash it in front of cameras or in the media over and over again.

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her on Twitter for more.