Colton Underwood, former star of The Bachelor, has come out as gay in an emotional interview on Good Morning America.
Underwood, who was the star of the hit reality show's 23rd season in 2019 after previously being a contestant on The Bachelorette, opened up in a conversation with ABC's Robin Robertsthat aired on Wednesday, revealing he "came to terms" with his sexuality earlier this year.
"I've ran from myself for a long time," he said. "I've hated myself for a long time."
Underwood told Roberts he struggled with thoughts of suicide and that it was a "wake-up call" when he got to a "dark" place where he "would have rather died than say I'm gay." Looking back on his time on the show, Underwood said he wishes he hadn't "dragged people into my own mess of figuring out who I was." He apologized to the women who were contestants during his season, including winner Cassie Randolph. They ended their relationship in 2020, with Randolph filing for a restraining order against Underwood that she later dropped.
"I loved everything about her," he said. "It's hard for me to articulate exactly what my emotions were in going through that relationship with her was because I obviously had an internal fight going on."
Opening up further about struggling with his sexuality, Underwood revealed that when he was cast on The Bachelor, he thanked God "for making me straight" after being raised Catholic and taught that being gay was a sin. But since coming out, Underwood said he's received "love" and "support" from his friends and family, so much so that he wishes he would have had more "faith" in them before.
"I'm emotional, but I'm emotional in such a good, happy, positive way," Underwood said. "I'm the happiest and healthiest I've ever been in my life, and that means the world to me." Brendan Morrow