Colton Underwood says he was blackmailed into coming out - Los Angeles Times
|Los Angeles Times 12 May 2021 at 17:29|
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Colton Underwood, the first star of “The Bachelor” franchise to come out, says he was blackmailed before he announced last month that he is gay .
Variety , which has an exclusive interview, says Underwood “secretly visited a spa known for catering to gay clientele. Shortly thereafter, he received an anonymous email, which has been reviewed by Variety, from someone claiming to have taken his nude photos at the venue.”
Underwood, a former professional football player, said the incident forced him to come out to his publicist. That led to his public announcement in an interview with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America” in April.
Underwood confirmed to Variety that he has a about his coming-out journey, with fellow gay athlete Gus Kenworthy acting as his guide.
Andy Cohen, Dan Levy and Billy Eichner are among celebrities celebrating ‘Bachelor’ star Colton Underwood coming out on ‘Good Morning America.’
While initially praised for his decision to come out, Underwood, 29, has weathered his fair share of controversy, including allegations of harassment.
After appearing as a contestant on “The Bachelorette,” he was cast in “Bachelor in Paradise” (both in 2018), where he had a fling with fellow contestant Tia Booth. In 2019, he was chosen as the resident Prince Charming for Season 23 of “The Bachelor,” the flagship series of ABC’s wildly popular dating show franchise.
Underwood and Season 23 winner Cassie Randolph entered into a relationship, during which he contracted COVID-19 . They broke up in May 2020, prompting online harassment of Randolph by “Bachelor” fans.
A few months later, Randolph filed a restraining order against Underwood. She claimed Underwood had stalked and harassed her, including installing a tracking device on the bumper of her car.
Colton’s Netflix show prompted backlash , with more than 35,000 people signing a Change.org petition to scrap the series rather than feature someone allegedly guilty of “abusive, manipulative and dangerous behavior.”