Katie Thurston is the lead for season 17 of “The Bachelorette.” While she has been open about her late father, the 30-year-old has not shared much else about her family.
First appearing on Matt James’ season of “The Bachelor,” viewers never met her family since she did not make it to hometown dates. Though ABC’s trailer for the finale teases her mom’s first appearance on the dating franchise.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Thurston’s Dad Died in 2012
Bachelor Nation first learned of Thurston’s late father during a heart-to-heart with fellow contestant Sarah Trott on James’ season.
“My dad passed away in 2012,” she told Trott, who was self-eliminating to return to her ailing father. During their conversation, Thurston revealed, “I missed out on my goodbye to my dad, so I would never want that for you.”
According to The Sun, her father died after a battle with ALS.
Her late father has been an important topic of conversation throughout this season, revealing to Greg Grippo on their first one-on-one date, “Growing up, I loved going camping with my dad and going to the river. Just enjoy nature and be by the fire.”
Taking Grippo to set up a mock-camping and fishing experience, she added during a confessional, “This is a huge reminder of what my dad meant to me and how he’s been in my life.”
2. Thurston Was Not Raised by Her Biological Father
During the night portion of Thurston’s one-on-one date with Justin Glaze, Thurston revealed a family secret. She told him, “Before my dad passed away, I also found out that he was not my biological father. My mom kept that a secret.”
She explained she is struggling to form a relationship with her biological father.
“But how do I build a relationship with this man I know nothing about while also mourning the passing of the man who raised me?” she said. “Any time, any time I try to get close with him, it’s just a reminder of the fact that my dad who raised me is no longer here.”
3. Thurston Told Her Mom About Her Sexual Assault After Filming
During a group date, Thurston disclosed that 10 years ago she “was involved in a situation where there wasn’t consent.”
At the time, she revealed she had not yet told her mom. Former contestants of “The Bachelorette,” Mike Johnson and Bryan Abasolo asked her about that conversation when she appeared on their podcast, Talking it Out.
“I had to tell her when I got back, you know, from filming ‘The Bachelorette.’ So she just found out within the last couple of weeks leading up to this episode airing,” Thurston said.
She added, “She feels bad that she, you know, wasn’t there for me in that moment and didn’t, like, recognize signs or she felt bad she wasn’t a safe space for me to go to, you know. And so we both got emotional over it.”
Through their conversation, Thurston admitted she learned about her mother’s experiences. She told the hosts, “The thing is so many men and women have gone through something very similar. More than we even realize.”
4. Thurston Revealed Her Family Motivated Her to Get Vaccinated
While Thurston does not usually mention her family on social media, she did reveal they served as the motivation for her to get the vaccine.
“Look, I hate getting shots,” she said in an Instagram video. “But I’m not doing this for me. I do it for my mom who’s an essential worker. Or my sister, who’s pregnant. Or my nieces and nephews who are still in school. I do it for my grandparents. My friends. My community. For you.”
5. Thurston’s Mom Appears on ‘The Bachelorette’ Finale
Bachelor Nation will finally get to meet Thurston’s mom on the season finale of “The Bachelorette.” The trailer for the episode teased her appearance, tearfully embracing the Washington-native.
Presumably discussing her recent argument with Grippo, Thurston’s mom is seen telling her, “We don’t put ourselves in a position where we have to rely on a male.”
Fans will have to tune in for the rest of their conversation.
“The Bachelorette” finale and “After the Final Rose” special begins at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC.