More to the story. Matt James is opening up about his life in his new book, telling Us Weekly that he isn’t nervous to share details of his past hardships because — contrary to what Bachelor viewers saw — he already did.
“That’s the crazy part. I shared [this] stuff during the show, but it just never made it on air,” the 30-year-old First Impressions author said on an upcoming episode of Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast. James called opening up about the “real s–t that happened in my life” while filming season 25, adding, “I shared all those things so that the women who were pursuing me — as well as the viewers — to have context to why I was the way I was. And when they didn’t have that context, there are just a lot of things didn’t add up.”
In his memoir, First Impressions, which is available for pre-order and hits stands on Tuesday, May 3, James writes about race, being raised by a single mother, his complicated past with his father, his brother’s stint in jail and more.
“I’m not nervous about that because that process allowed me to dig into myself and be like, ‘If I’m gonna do this, it’s gotta be done one way’ — and that’s letting it all hang out, be vulnerable and just allow people to be pulled in,” the ABC Food Tours founders told Us. “And I’m hoping that as [readers] see how open and honest I am with my life, you know, it allows them to resonate and feel what I’ve been through and give them some hope in what they’re going through.“
The book also gives Bachelor viewers “more context” into his relationship with Rachael Kirkconnell. After leaving Nemacolin resort as a couple on the 2021 season, the twosome split when the Georgia native was accused of past racially insensitive actions, including attending a sorority party on a plantation.
“A lot of people going into the AFR didn’t realize that we had broken up because they’re not on Instagram, Twitter, whatever. So just providing context was the means of talking about our relationship [in the book],” he told Us, noting the process was “collaborative” between him and his girlfriend as he had “conversations with Rachael about how I was gonna put our story together.”
While James noted that he doesn’t intend to “call out” the franchise or rehash his other romances on the show, he isn’t afraid to admit that he shut down when the series was airing — which explains why he and Kirkconnell, 25, appeared to be on bad terms at After the Final Rose, only to publicly reconcile a month later. He reveals in the book that the twosome were comforting each other at the reunion taping as they spoke about her past, even leaving the stage hand in hand.
“It’s like, I’ve given y’all everything I have, and I’ve seen how y’all treated me and Rachael through this process,” he told Us, citing growing out his beard while the show was airing as another example. “There’s nothing else I have left to give to y’all aside from the obligation of being here. And that’s kind of how we’ve gone about our relationship. We’re not, you know, hosting group dates. We’re not pulling up to these different events because it’s a one-sided relationship, you know what I mean? When Rachael needed them the most, they were nowhere to be found. When I needed them and whatever, it was the cold shoulder. So we’re good on our own.”
He added: “I don’t want to come across as petty because I’m not. I’m so thankful for that opportunity and to meet Rachael and [that] amazing group of women, but it’s unfortunate that so many people are left with that sour taste in their mouth after going through something so cool when it doesn’t have to be like that.”
First Impressions is available for pre-order now. For more from Matt, listen to the Tuesday, May 3, episode of the “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.