Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Instagram/ABC
Colton Underwood has revealed he used Grindr in 2016 or 2017 and "hooked up" with guys before appearing on The Bachelor - and was "blackmailed" after visiting a gay spa last year "just to look".
The anonymous blackmailer threatened to "out" Colton to the press with nude photos, he adds, forcing the 29-year-old to come out to his publicist.
Colton came out publicly as gay in an interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America last month but was previously known to the public as a heterosexual virgin, having searched for a female bride on the reality show The Bachelor in 2019.
"Nobody knows I was blackmailed"
“I was ‘the Virgin Bachelor,’ but I did experiment with men prior to being on ‘The Bachelorette,’” he explained: "When I say ‘hookups,’ not sex - I want to make that very clear that I did not have sex with a man, prior to that."
"I, at one point, during my rock bottom and spiral, was getting blackmailed. Nobody knows I was blackmailed," former NFL player Colton added of his gay spa visit last year, in a new interview with Variety.
The star added of his suicide attempt while coming to terms with his sexuality: "I tried to end my life, and it didn’t work. That was the saddest and most confused and most hurt [I ever felt]."
Colton's coming out preceded news of his fronting a pending Netflix series alongside Olympian Gus Kenworthy called Gay Guide.
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The show, which would see Gus 'guide' Colton into life as a gay man, received fierce backlash, with critics accusing the star of profiting from his coming out story and that as a white, straight-passing, conventionally attractive cisgender man, he was taking a platform from a more-deserving LGBTQ person. However, according to Variety, the show is still going ahead and will broadcast next year.
"I did not physically touch or physically abuse Cassie in any way"
In September 2020, a restraining order was filed against Underwood by his ex-girlfriend Cassie Randolph. She alleged he stalked her and placed a tracking device on her car. She dropped the restraining order against him with prejudice two months later.
Addressing the allegations, Underwood told Variety: "I did not physically touch or physically abuse Cassie in any way, shape or form. I never want people to think that I’m coming out to change the narrative, or to brush over and not take responsibility for my actions, and now that I have this gay life that I don’t have to address my past as a straight man.
“Controlling situations to try to grasp at any part of the straight fantasy that I was trying to live out was so wrong.”