Chris Harrison Opens Up About Bachelor Scandal: ‘I Was Gutted’

Chris Harrison

Getty/ABC Chris Harrison

Chris Harrison broke his silence on his exit from  ”The Bachelor.”  In June 2021, the veteran television host announced he was leaving the TV dating franchise he hosted for nearly 20 years, but he didn’t do any interviews following his exit.

Harrison’s demise came following an explosive Extra TV interview with former “Bachelorette” star Rachel Lindsay in February 2021, during which the longtime ABC host defended contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s past attendance at a racist college party. Harrison also referred to Kirkconnell’s critics as the “woke police.” He was let go from the franchise four months later.

On his recently launched podcast, “The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever,” Harrison broke his silence on what really went down after the controversial interview that cost him his job.

Chris Harrison Says He Was ‘Sick’ After The Bachelor Scandal

Chris Harrison

ABCChris Harrison of “The Bachelor.”

Harrison released the debut episode of “The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever” on January 9, 2023, where he started off by telling fans, “I have not spoken publicly since I left the Bachelor franchise. I have not made one comment.”

After taking some downtime, Harrison was ready to talk about how he felt after his interview with Lindsay had critics demanding his firing.

“I have to give myself some grace because when I went through this ordeal and after the interview and everything subsequently melted down, there was no template for this,” he said. “There was no playbook. The playbook had been thrown out the window.”

Harrison said the “toughest thing” for him was “where to turn, what to do.”

“I was heartbroken,” he revealed. “I was gutted. I was embarrassed, I was mad at myself. I was disappointed in myself. The last thing in the world I ever wanted to do was be an agent of anything negative. Whether it had to do with race, or anything. The fact that I was involved in this and I had a big part in this, and I do own that.”

“There were many things out of my control and things definitely spun out of control for a number of reasons,” he added. “For my part of this, I was sick. I was sick to my stomach. I lost 20 pounds, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t eat, I was scared to death of, not of my job, but for my family.”

Harrison noted that he worried about how his scandal would affect his kids, Joshua and Taylor. He also said that while he regretted how he verbalized his opinions, he had only been trying to support Kirkconnell and give her the benefit of the doubt because he’s a “team player.”

“Immediately after the interview — and I don’t want this to come the wrong way — while I was sick to my stomach and I felt so disappointed that the interview went that way, and it was on me, because I controlled what I had to say, while the point I was trying to get across I stand by,” he added. “The way I did it, it was messy, it was disappointing, and it’s just not me.”

Harrison said he ultimately talked to a crisis manager, which offered him little help. “I was also astonished at how many people had their hand out, wanted to get paid for this,” he added. “I am sure when you are at war, you will see a side of people that is real. This is them. Because when s*** hits the fan at that level, you will find out what’s really inside somebody.

Rachel Lindsay Said She Sat Back & Let Chris Harrison Talk

Harrison ultimately apologized to Lindsay, but the damage was done. During an episode of her “Higher Learning” podcast, Lindsay reacted to “Bachelor” fans who blamed her for Harrison’s demise. She also noted that as a Black woman, if she had gotten upset as Harrison did on camera she would be labeled as “angry,” so she opted to let him do all of the talking.

“When I saw how this interview was going I said, ‘I’m just gonna sit back, and I’m just going to let this man talk. I’m gonna hold it together, I’m going to poke just a little bit,’” she revealed on the podcast. “But it was as if Chris Harrison woke up and said, ‘You know what? I’m just going to be myself today.’”

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