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Colton Underwood, who starred as the leading man in “The Bachelor” in 2019, came out as gay in an interview released Wednesday.
Speaking with Robin Roberts on “Good Morning America,” Underwood said he has run from himself and hated himself “for a long time” before making the announcement.
“I’m gay. And I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it,” Underwood said. “The next step in all of this is letting people know. I’m still nervous. But it’s been a journey for sure.”
Underwood first appeared on the 14th season of “The Bachelorette,” which starred Becca Kufrin. He was eliminated in week eight of the reality dating competition before being cast as the leading man in the 23rd season of “The Bachelor.”
He eventually chose Cassie Randolph, but the two broke up a year later. Randolph later filed a restraining order against Underwood, alleging he harassed and stalked her, according to Entertainment Weekly.
Underwood said he got into a “dark” place before processing that he is gay.
“I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life and that means the world to me,” he said.
He also apologized to Randolph in the “GMA” interview, saying he “messed up” and “made a lot of bad choices,” US Weekly reported.
“I would just say that I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. … I wish that it wouldn’t have happened the way that it did,” he said. “I wish that I had been courageous enough to fix myself before I hurt anyone else.”
A former college football player at Illinois State, Underwood spent three years as a practice squad player in the NFL, according to Sports Illustrated.
Before appearing on “The Bachelor,” Underwood dated Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, who he called his “first love,” USA Today reported.