Colton Underwood opens up about blackmail and Netflix backlash

(Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Tubi)
(Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Tubi) /

Colton Underwood shocked Bachelor Nation last month when he came out as gay on Good Morning America. Known as “the virgin Bachelor” when he starred on The Bachelor Season 23, Colton had faced years of rumors about his sexuality.

Now, he has a Netflix docuseries about his journey on the way, but he recently dropped another bombshell in an interview with Variety–a blackmail attempt was the impetus behind his coming out.

After visiting a “spa known for catering to gay clientele” in Los Angeles last year, Colton alleges that he received an email from someone claiming to possess nude photos of him there. The anonymous sender threatened to reveal them publicly, so a panicked Colton shared the email with his publicist, Alex Spieller.

From there, he decided to finally be honest about his sexuality to his publicist and others close to him. This culminated in the idea of a reality show about his coming-out story, which has been sold to Netflix and is currently filming.

Colton Underwood Netflix series receives backlash

The announcement of the upcoming show has not come without controversy. A petition demanding the documentary’s cancellation has reached over 35,000 signatures. Signers argue that Colton shouldn’t be given a platform because of his abusive behavior toward his ex-girlfriend, Cassie Randolph.

The couple met on Colton’s season of The Bachelor and dated for over a year before splitting in May 2020. In September, Cassie filed for a restraining order against Colton. Court documents allege that he placed a tracking device on her car, obsessively visited her residence, and sent harassing text messages to her, her friends, and himself under an anonymous phone number in order to pretend he was also the victim of a stalker. Cassie and Colton ultimately reached a private agreement and she dropped the restraining order two months later.

Colton Underwood briefly addressed the situation with Variety, saying “I’m sorry, and I want [Cassie] to know that I hope she has the best, most beautiful life.” In response to accusations of abuse, Colton said that he did not “physically touch or physically abuse” Cassie. He did not mention mental or emotional abuse.

Next. Colton Underwood to get Netflix ‘coming out’ docuseries. dark

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25. The Trevor Project Lifeline is available at 1-866-488-7386.

24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, the National Domestic Violence Hotline provides essential tools and support to help survivors of domestic violence so they can live their lives free of abuse. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).