A former star of The Bachelorette has come forward with sexual assault allegations 15 years after she filmed her season of the ABC reality show. Meredith Phillips, the star of the second season of The Bachelorette, claims she was drugged and sexually assaulted by a female masseuse during the production of the ABC show in late 2003. Phillips, who was the runner-up on Bob Guiney’s Bachelor season before landing the coveted starring role on the female-led version of the show, made the bombshell allegations for the first time on an episode of the Reality Steve podcast on Wednesday.
Meredith Phillips told Reality Steve host Steve Carbone that producers called in a massage therapist for her after she told them she was feeling fatigued while filming Season 2 of The Bachelorette. Phillips claims she was given an unidentified pill by the massage therapist who arrived at the Agoura Hills “Bachelor Mansion” where filming of the show takes place. Of the unnamed masseuse, Meredith told Reality Steve the following.
“She was hired to give me a massage and she said, ‘I’m going to give you a pill.’ I just assumed it was an aspirin or something to loosen up my back or Tylenol or something… and it definitely wasn’t that, that’s for sure.”
Phillips went on to allege that she recalls the masseuse getting into a bathtub naked with her and “rubbing areas probably she shouldn’t have.”
“I had no control. Zero. I think that was the hardest part for me, that I couldn’t even lift my arms to say no…I woke up naked. Don’t remember much. I wasn’t even drinking.”
The Bachelorette star also revealed that she confided in another woman working on the show, who admitted to her that she had also been “roofied and in a hot tub and kind of accosted” during production.
Meredith Phillips says she never reported the incident to Bachelorette producers because she “wanted to protect the franchise,” and instead decided to continue filming.
Phillips went on to accept a proposal from financier Ian McKee at the end of her season, but the couple split one year later. Meredith later met a new boyfriend in a cooking class and that union spawned her book, “The Date Night Cookbook,” which was published in 2008. Meredith married her high school sweetheart, Michael Broady, in 2011.
In 2013, Meredith Phillips made headlines when she revealed to ABC News that she was an alcoholic. Phillips said her drinking spiraled out of control after her engagement to her Bachelorette boyfriend Ian McKee broke off.
According to People, reps for ABC and Warner Bros. had “no comment” regarding Phillips’ sexual assault accusations. The new allegations come one year after the reality franchise’s Bachelor in Paradise shut down production to conduct an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations. The show resumed filming a few weeks later.
The new season of The Bachelorette premieres Monday, May 28 on ABC.