In tonight’s episode of The Bachelor, contestant Caelynn will reveal a gut-wrenching secret: She was sexually assaulted in college. Host Chris Harrison phoned into On Air With Ryan Seacrest on Monday, January 28, ahead of the episode to share with viewers and listeners what to expect.
In the scene, frontrunner Caelynn informs bachelor Colton Underwood about her past, revealing it will forever affect her dating life.
“Tonight is the episode we’re taking about and it’s this conversation where Caelynn and Colton are on a date and … she explains ‘There’s something you need to know because it affects a lot of my relationships,’” Chris Harrison teased. “… The fact that she was able to do that on camera and be that vulnerable and be that honest and [for] Colton to be able to sit there and accept that and take it, it’s one of those rare things where you’re doing the show [and] the show kind of stops and you’re just wanting to take care of these people.’”
Chris explained that they did stop filming to check in on both Caelynn and Colton.
“… We made sure this was the direction they wanted to go,” Chris continued. “And kuddos to her for being strong enough to saying, ‘Yes, this is my story, I wanted to tell it,’ and God bless her for doing so.”
The emotional, powerful moment, Chris added, might also help viewers who have suffered a similar situation and help ignite conversations.
“I know we’re not changing the world and it’s entertainment and The Bachelor can be fun, but I always feel like The Bachelor is a microcosm of what’s happening in the world,” Chris added. “This happens on college campuses and this happens on dates and the fact that there are now people speaking up … this will really open the door and shine the light on this.”
Chris reminded listeners that Colton also previously dealt with this in the past. The former football star previously dated Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a staff doctor.
“It says a lot about Colton by the way,” Chris concluded. “… You see him change as a man tonight … it brought out a very serious conversation from Colton’s past … he opens up about why he really is a virgin at this point because he was with someone who was a victim and how it affected him and it was this ripple affect … it really lead to this amazing breakthrough.”
Listen back to the full conversation in the audio above and tune into The Bachelor tonight on ABC at 8 p.m.
If you or anyone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing and recovering, and more.