The Bachelor went into very serious territory this week, and show host Chris Harrison says there will be more to come. In an interview with Access Live, which you can see below, the longtime ABC host teased a future conversation with Bachelor star Colton Underwood after his emotional reaction to contestant Caelynn Miller-Keyes’ gut-wrenching story that she was sexually assaulted in college.
“I want you to know with me you’re safe,” Colton told Caelynn. “I have had a situation in my past where I was in a relationship in which she was sexually abused. For me, that was the hardest thing I ever had to watch, going through something with someone — looking into her eyes and knowing just the pain associated with it. Who am I to feel the pain when I wasn’t the victim.”
In the Access interview, Harrison, who stopped by the show with Bachelor fan favorite Ashley Iaconetti, talked about how Colton reacted off camera to his conversation with Caelynn and how in a future episode he has a larger conversation with The Bachelor star about it.
Harrison touched on how in cases of sexual assault there is a ripple effect as family, friends, and future relationships of the victim are all affected. Colton Underwood shared that his first love had been a victim of sexual assault and hinted that it partially explained why he remains a virgin even after falling in love. Harrison teased that it will all be discussed in further detail on a future episode of The Bachelor.
“There will be a subsequent conversation with Colton and myself where we sit down at our next location and dive deeper into this… and talk a lot more about his situation in particular because it’s about his journey moving forward. But this is the tip of the iceberg as we go forward.”
Chris Harrison also revealed that producers were aware ahead of time that the conversation between Colton and Caelynn would be taking place. The Bachelor host noted that Caelynn, a beauty pageant queen, had previously used her story of sexual assault as part of her pageant platform and had spoken openly about the traumatic event that occurred when she was a sophomore in college. Harrison said producers knew Caelynn would be “okay” after sharing her story with Colton. The ABC host also revealed that The Bachelor production team went to “great lengths” to make the conversation as private as possible but still capture it on camera.
Chris Harrison also said producers never considered not airing the conversation, telling Access, “this stuff needs to be heard” so that victims and viewers alike can have open conversations about it.
As for Colton’s future conversation with Chris Harrison, it is doubtful that The Bachelor star will go into detail about the identity of his first love, whom many fans believe is Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman. The Olympic medalist, who has been open about her sexual assault allegations against team doctor Larry Nassar, dated Underwood from 2016 to 2017.
You can see Chris Harrison’s interview about Colton and Caelynn on Access Live below.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.