The former “Bachelor” Colton Underwood came out to Robin Roberts in a “Good Morning America” interview that aired Wednesday morning.
I’ve ran from myself for a long time. I’ve hated myself for a long time,” Underwood told Roberts in a pre-taped chat. “And I’m gay. And I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it. And the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know.”
JUST IN: Former “Bachelor” star @Colton Underwood speaks his truth and comes out to @robinroberts: “I’m gay. And I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it… I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.” https://t.co/PoYJUAPBpA pic.twitter.com/isP7SptUu7
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 14, 2021
“I’m still nervous, but yeah,” he continued. “It’s been a journey for sure.”
Underwood said he finally got to a place where he could be honest with himself after 2020, the year that turned everyone’s lives upside down, and made people “look at themselves in the mirror and figure out who they are and what they’ve been running from or what they’ve been putting off in their lives.”
When Roberts, who is also openly gay, said she could “see the joy” and “see the relief” in Underwood, he said he was “emotional in, like such a good, happy, positive way,” and is “the happiest and healthiest” he’s ever been.
Underwood said he went through a “dark and bad” time before feeling like he could reveal this about himself and his “wake up call” was feeling like he “would’ve rather died” than say he’s gay.
“There was a moment in L.A. that I woke up and I didn’t think I was gonna wake up. I didn’t have the intentions of waking up. And I did,” he recalled, noting this moment — and other “suicidal thoughts” — led him to “take back control” of his life.
When Roberts asked about the women from his “Bachelor” season and how they — among others — may feel misled, Underwood said he “would understand why they think that way.”
“I’ve thought a lot about this too, of, ‘Do I regret being the Bachelor and do I regret handling it the way that I did?’ I do,” he said. “I do think I could’ve handled it better, I’ll say that.”
Underwood said he “genuinely” wishes he hadn’t dragged people into “my own mess of figuring out who I was.” In addition to saying sorry to those women, he would said thank you because, ultimately, they and the franchise helped him get to this place.
When he was named the Bachelor, Underwood said he remembered “praying to God” the morning he found out and “thanking him for making me straight,’ thinking this would lead to him finally getting the wife and them having kids.
Bachelor Nation was first introduced to Underwood when he was a contestant on Becca Kufrin’s season of “The Bachelorette,” the 14th season, in 2018. He made it to Kufrin’s final four.
The former football star followed this up with a brief stint on season 4 of “Bachelor in Paradise,” on which he had a fling with Tia Booth.
Underwood was then the lead of season 23 of “The Bachelor” in 2019, with his virginity being a frequent topic of conversation and his famous fence-jumping moment being one of the franchise’s most dramatic moments. He gave his final rose to contestant Cassie Randolph but ultimately chose to not propose to her, though they later told “GMA” they had discussed an engagement.
The two dated after the show wrapped until announcing their breakup in early 2020. They later made headlines when Randolph was granted a restraining order against Underwood, accusing him of stalking and harassing her. In a police report, she accused him of putting a tracking device on her car. Underwood later released a statement explaining that he and Randolph had resolved their issues in private. She later dismissed the restraining order and requested the police investigation be dropped.
In his interview with Roberts, Underwood apologized specifically to Randolph for “any pain and emotional stress” he caused her and said he wishes it hadn’t happened the way it did.
“I wish that I would’ve been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else,” he said.
He said he “loved everything” about Randolph, which “only made it harder and more confusing” for him as he was experiencing his own “internal fight.”
Prior to his time on reality TV, Underwood famously dated Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman. He wrote about their relationship — and much more — in his 2020 book, “The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV.”
These days, Underwood is just “proud” of how far he has come.
“I’m still the same Colton everybody met on TV. I’m still the same Colton to my friends and my family, I just happen to be able to share with people now all of me,” he said. “And I am proud of that, you know? I am proud to be gay.”
Congrats to Colton for living his truth.