The woman who won the final rose from the first black Bachelor in the popular reality TV show’s history is back in the spotlight and drawing some attention once again…
Former Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell is coming clean about what she went through — and what she considered doing — after that infamous antebellum-themed sorority photo scandal broke big earlier this year.
Speaking to hosts Michelle Saahene and Melissa DePino on the podcast From Privilege to Progress, the former Georgia College & State University student opened up about the pressure she felt to “stay silent” amid the ongoing, intimidating fallout from her mis-deed.
For one, she finally confirmed what we call kind of knew: the antebellum-themed sorority formal snaps were literally the direct reason she and Bachelor leading man Matt James split up the very first time:
“That was our breaking point at that point for both of us and that’s when we had split up right towards the end of February and that same week, I was like I have nothing left to lose at this point… That dress and the history of that formal was racist and I was completely ignorant to that and I needed to be held accountable for that.”
Amen! Again, not a huge surprise to learn of the reasoning behind their first split, but always good to hear somebody take accountability for their actions. (Not to mention it gives a little more info into their ultimate journey to getting back together over the summer!) The 24-year-old explained what went into her decision to finally discuss her dress drama, starting with the first few weeks when she specifically did not say anything while the dust settled:
“I had a lot of people in my ear saying, ‘You’ll have your time. Don’t make it worse. You’ll have your time to speak. We’ll give you a platform. Just wait it out.’ I felt pressure to just keep it all in, to wait, to stay silent.”
But when the controversy finally hit the public airwaves, it didn’t stop going for a really long time. Heck, longtime Bachelor Nation TV host Chris Harrison lost his entire on-air career as a result of this tough time!
So finally, after waiting a long time, Rachael put out her own statement on the matter, explaining:
“I finally decided to put that statement out and then obviously that wasn’t enough because it’s not actually a conversation., Anyone could have written that statement, which a lot of people had thought. I didn’t even have any sort of representation at that point. People were like, ‘Wow, her publicist did great with this.’ That’s when I was like, it’s not enough.”
Wow! Now, life is looking up for Rachael. She’s since gotten back together with her hunky former college football player beau, and she’s looking ahead to the future.
And while she knows not everybody will take her at face value after her formal wear controversy, it sounds like she’s made peace with that, too:
“I wanted to apologize and for some people, that won’t be enough and I completely understand that. People are more than entitled not to forgive me, but that was my rock bottom. I had lost everything. I’ve learned so much and I try to tell myself, you do have this platform and you could make a difference. I have a platform to pave the way for people to find those resources. I have a platform to amplify those resources.”
Talk about going out on a positive note, all things considered regarding her on-air past. What do U make of Rachael’s redemption here, Perezcious readers? Are U buying it, or nah?? Sound OFF about it with your take down in the comments (below)…
[Image via Rachael Kirkconnell/Instagram]
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