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Colton Underwood Addresses Backlash After Coming Out as Gay

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Colton Underwood opens up in the latest issue of ‘Variety’ about the backlash surrounding his coming out. The former ‘Bachelor’ revealed for the first time publicly that he is gay during an interview with ‘Good Morning America’ in April. Shortly after that, reports circulated that he had signed on to do a reality show with Netflix; but a petition was formed to cancel the project, noting the allegations of abuse leveled against him by his ex girlfriend, Cassie Randolph. The former couple split in May 2020 after a year of dating. At the time, Cassie filed a restraining order against him which she later dropped.

Video Transcript

COLTON UNDERWOOD: 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.

HALLIE STEPHENS: In a new interview with "Variety," Colton Underwood is opening up about the backlash surrounding his coming out.

COLTON UNDERWOOD: There was a lot of learning experiences for me from hearing some of the harsh criticism and hearing some of the feedback that I was getting. And it helped me. It just helped me grow as a human being.

HALLIE STEPHENS: Last month, the former "Bachelor" star revealed publicly for the first time that he's gay during a sit-down interview with "Good Morning America."

COLTON UNDERWOOD: I came to terms with that earlier this year. And I've have been processing it. And the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know. I'm still nervous. But yeah, it's been a journey, for sure.

HALLIE STEPHENS: Following the interview, news broke that the 29-year-old former football pro was set to star in a new Netflix reality series documenting his life as an openly gay man. But shortly after, a petition was created on change.org to cancel the project, highlighting allegations of abuse against Colton during his relationship with then girlfriend Cassie Randolph.

COLTON UNDERWOOD: How are you doing?

CASSIE RANDOLPH: Hi, I'm good. How are you?

COLTON UNDERWOOD: Good. Good.

CASSIE RANDOLPH: I'm Cassie.

COLTON UNDERWOOD: Colton.

HALLIE STEPHENS: The two met during season 2003 of "The Bachelor" and called it quits in May 2020 after more than a year of dating. A source at the time told ET that, following their breakup, Cassie began to receive strange texts from an unknown number and allegedly found a tracking device on her car. According to the source, Cassie confronted Colton, and he admitted to everything. Cassie was granted a restraining order against Colton, which she later dropped.

COLTON UNDERWOOD: I've ran for myself for 29 years. And there is no excuse for any behavior of mine that was holding on to the straight identity or that was operating out of fear of being gay and being outed.

HALLIE STEPHENS: Now Colton opens up in the latest issue of "Variety" saying he has regrets about his past behavior.

COLTON UNDERWOOD: What I did to Cassie and my friends and her family and what I put them through was so wrong. And I'm so sorry. And I think, selfishly, I'm very upset with myself that I might not ever have closure. And I might not ever be able to apologize in a satisfactory manner for not only her but for everybody. And I think that's what hurts.

HALLIE STEPHENS: Colton says he has not reached out to Cassie following his GMA interview. And he admits he never came out to her.

COLTON UNDERWOOD: I never had the courage to talk to her while we were in a relationship and especially after.

HALLIE STEPHENS: And while Colton says he and Cassie have an agreement not to speak publicly about the details surrounding their split--

COLTON UNDERWOOD: I know people have a lot of questions. But people also need to realize we have an agreement together to not talk about it.

HALLIE STEPHENS: --he does explain why he thinks he acted the way he did at the end of their relationship.

COLTON UNDERWOOD: I think I knew in my heart of hearts that Cassie was like my last straight relationship. And she was somebody who I loved and fell in love with and someone that I thought could make me straight. I don't know if I'll ever get closure or be able to forgive myself for some of the things that I said and did. And I just like vow and promise to move forward in a positive direction and never repeat those. And that's all I can.