Kaitlyn Bristowe opened up about her complicated relationship with Chris Harrison.
In 2021, the former ”The Bachelorette” star served as a temporary fill-in host on the ABC dating show after longtime host Harrison was fired amid the fallout of his controversial, race-related interview with former “Bachelorette” Rachel Lindsay. Harrison was ultimately permanently replaced by former “Bachelor” star Jesse Palmer.
But during a January 31, 2022 appearance on Dear Media’s “Not Skinny But Not Fat” podcast, Bristowe revealed that she thinks Harrison may not have liked what she said to him following his scandal – and that he seemed to have taken her part-time role too personally.
“Rachel is a dear friend of mine. I didn’t agree with how Chris was talking to her in that interview,” Bristowe said. “But Chris was also a dear friend of mine. When this all went down …I reached out to Chris. I said. ‘What you did was wrong.’ Then he called and we talked. He just said, ‘I don’t want anyone to get involved … I understand you have to say what you have to say.’ I was like, ‘I don’t agree with what you said, but ….moving on.'”
After she signed on to be a “mentor” on Katie Thurston’s Bachelorette season alongside Tayshia Adams, Bristowe found herself on the defense when fans accused her and Adams of fueling cancel culture by replacing Harrison. “Truthfully we are there to support the new bachelorette. We aren’t ‘replacing’ anyone!!!” Bristowe wrote on social media at the time, per E! News.
It was around that time that she noticed that Harrison wasn’t responding to any of her texts. Bristowe noted that she tried to contact Harrison to assure him she wasn’t trying to replace him on the show.
“I just wanted him to know that he’s irreplaceable and I didn’t want to step on toes,” she said, adding that she told Harrison, “I don’t know what my role is.”
“They said it was mentor, but now I’m seeing articles about how I’m replacing you and that makes me feel icky,'” she shared. “And then he didn’t write back…I messaged him probably 10 times without him responding.”
Bristowe said she came to the conclusion that, “OK, he hates me. We were best friends and now he hates me.”
“I bawled my eyes out about it,” she said. “That friendship just felt like it went down the toilet.”
Kaitlyn Bristowe Reunited With Chris Harrison at a Bachelor Nation Wedding in August 2022
Elsewhere in the interview, Bristowe shared that she finally reunited with Harrison more than a year later at the wedding of mutual pals Wells Adams and Sarah Hyland.
In an August 2022 episode of her “Off the Vine” podcast, Bristowe noted that she was seated at a table with Harrison, Chris Soules, Nick Viall, and Ben Higgins. She approached Harrison at the reception.
“I walked up to him and I was like, ‘I miss you.’ And he’s like, ‘Well, I’ve always been here.’ And I’m like, ‘No you haven’t! You haven’t responded to me in forever!'” Bristowe recalled on “Not Skinny But Not Fat.”
After noting that her exchange with Harrison was “tough,” she speculated that the diss was more about Harrison distancing himself from the entire Bachelor franchise after his painful exit than about anything she did.
Chris Harrison Called Out Bachelor Nation Stars Who Wanted His Job
While Harrison has yet to respond to Bristowe’s story, he did talk about Bachelor Nation cast members who were eyeing his job – even when he was still doing it.
On the first episode of his “The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever,” released on January 9, 2023, Harrison noted that there were some franchise stars who made it obvious they wanted his job.
“I know people coveted my job,” he said on the podcast. “I know people wanted my job. They’d be crazy not to, it’s a great gig.”
Harrison did not name the woman, but he revealed that a bachelorette once said in front of him that she should host the show instead of him.
“And I was sitting there and I said, ‘You know I’m right here,’” he said. “She’s like ‘No no no, I would just host ‘The Bachelorette.’ Yeah no, that’s my job. That’s what I do too. I do both those shows. That’s how I pay my mortgage. That’s my job. And it was funny because she didn’t even see it as a job or the fact that she was asking for my job and asking me to be unemployed in front of me.”
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