The Bachelorette fan-favorite Mike Johnson is opening up about his mental health and the direction it took after he appeared on the hit ABC show. Despite receiving an influx of love from viewers, Mike still had to deal with trolls who continued to give him reason after reason as to why he wasn’t cast on The Bachelor as many fans had hoped. The reality star caught up with Us Weekly to talk about his time after the show and explained how that was harder than actually appearing on the series itself.
Mike remembered being around a bunch of “alpha dudes” while filming, which wasn’t much of an issue to him as he’s used to that from his past in the U.S. Air Force. He said he is accustomed to dealing with all types of personalities, especially strong ones, so it didn’t affect him living in the mansion with people he might not get along with in the outside world. He also said he wasn’t very affected by the lack of sleep and constant traveling, and his mental health didn’t take a hit from that as he’s used to the constant hustle in his daily life.
But after The Bachelorette ended, Mike remembered some of his friends accusing him of acting differently now that he was famous, even though he knew he was still being the same guy. He then revealed that trolls continuously called him the n-word, and listed all the reasons they knew he wasn’t picked as the next lead.
“Honestly, it used to annoy me, but I might as well be putting on my clown makeup if I allow them to deteriorate from my happiness,” he said.
Mike, who is promoting his book Making the Love You Want, is happy overall about his experience before and after filming.
“I think it’s good that I actually went through it because now I have a different form of experience in dealing with mental health from the public eye aspect, from the military aspect, from growing up,” he explained. “After the show … what helped me the most I would say is all the beautiful people, my extended family that would [believe] in me and tell me their life story and tell me what they’re going through.”
The 32-year-old still receives love from fans online, with many disappointed that he wasn’t chosen for the lead in the upcoming season of The Bachelor. Producers went with Matt James, who will be the first Black man to hold the coveted role. Matt, who appears on Clare Crawley’s upcoming season, seemed like an odd choice for viewers who expressed frustration on Mike being passed over yet again.