Coming clean about coming out. Colton Underwood knows that he may experience backlash for his new series, Coming Out Colton, following his drama with his ex Cassie Randolph. However, he also knows that he may not have even come out as gay if that didn’t happen.
“I think that was sort of a huge wake-up call. I’m sad that it even got to that point to where that had to be my wake-up call and me affecting other people in my life was sort of the moment that I realized I had to come out,” Underwood, 29, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting his new Netflix series. “Obviously, I wish I would have had the courage to come out without having to be pushed.”
Randolph, 26, who met the former NFL star during season 23 of The Bachelor, filed for a restraining order against him in September 2020, four months after they split. In November of that year, the former couple reached a private agreement, and the order was dropped. He publicly came out as gay in April 2021.
“I do think that that moment was a realization, like, ‘What are you doing with your life? This is not who you are. This is not what you do.’ Like, ‘Why are you in this situation right now?'” he told Us. “When it boiled down to it, it was because I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t being true to who I was, and I wasn’t in a really good place.”
This time around, he’s ready to show who he actually is with his new series — but it wasn’t an easy decision to do another reality show.
“There was a lot of thought that went into it, but I really realized my story and who I was. I was always told who I was my entire life — whether it was [during] football or in the church, then obviously on The Bachelor,” he explained. “I felt like it was important for me to come to terms. … and really own who I am and say, ‘Hey, this is actually who I am.’ And for the first time, I’m going to let people truly see that.”
Following his Good Morning America interview, Underwood faced a bit of backlash — and knows that may happen when the new series drops. However, this time around is different.
“At this point in my life, I’m so happy and I’m in such a good place,” the First Time author told Us, noting that he now has more support than ever before between his blended friends and family. “That was a huge thing that I didn’t realize what I was carrying, but I had to compartmentalize so much of my life. You know, my high school friends can never meet my college friends. And then, I’d use lies or secrets against people, saying, like, ‘Hey, I can’t come out tonight because I’m hanging out with them.’ And then I’d tell them that I was hanging out with my other buddies. It was so stressful, like, having all of these little lies add up.”
He continued, “Once I could just be myself and not have to worry about who talks to who, I can be honest and real with people, it was valuable.”
Coming Out Colton debuts on Netflix Friday, December 3.