Chris Harrison breaks his silence on leaving The Bachelor franchise for the first time ever

Chris Harrison
Chris Harrison has finally opened up about his exit from the ABC reality dating series. Pic credit: © Thompson/AdMedia

After staying quiet for nearly two years, Chris Harrison has finally opened up to fans about his exit from The Bachelor franchise.

Harrison was the original host of The Bachelor back in 2002 and remained the face of the franchise for 19 years.

In 2021, he officially stepped down from the position after he refused to speak against Season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell’s controversial photos while appearing on Rachel Lindsay’s podcast.

While Harrison did offer an apology on his social media outlets and on Good Morning America, he has stayed silent on the subject ever since.

However, the 51-year-old former host released the first episode of his podcast on Monday, January 9, where he gave his own version of a Tell All.

The podcast, The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever… With Chris Harrison, started with Harrison saying it was his turn to address the situation and how life has been for him since leaving the franchise.

Chris Harrison says he was ‘heartbroken’ after The Bachelor exit

The pilot episode, It’s Time We Talk, started with Harrison detailing his devastating exit from the career that had become his whole world.

After his appearance on Rachel’s podcast in 2021 and receiving an overwhelming amount of backlash, Harrison said that he was “heartbroken, gutted, and embarrassed.” Harrison noted that he was surprised at the amount of hate he received but understood that it happened during a “very combustible moment in time.”

“I lost 20 pounds. I didn’t sleep, I didn’t eat,” he said. “It was just one gut punch after the other, and mentally and physically, I deteriorated pretty bad,” he explained.

While Harrison was advised to not put out an apology, he said he doesn’t regret apologizing right away since he knew it was right to hold himself accountable at the moment.

“My apology was warranted. I had no problem putting out that first apology… But there was just so much noise at the time, it just didn’t matter. Apologies didn’t matter,” Harrison explained. “Even after that apology, we were still at ground zero. It was confusing and it was scary.”

Harrison details his life after leaving The Bachelor

The former host said that when he went through the devastating situation, he realized which people in his life were truly there for him — including some familiar Bachelor Nation favorites.

Harrison also admitted that while he inherently wanted his friends to publicly defend him, he advised them to also stay silent. He said that he was “okay” himself, but he wasn’t going to let anybody else “go down” by speaking up for him.

Harrison said that he is “not mad at the show” and has no animosity toward the franchise, and instead, is forever grateful to have had the opportunity that changed his life for the better.

“To be a part of that, to have helped create that over 19 years, I take great pride in that,” he said.

As for how Harrison is doing now, he said that after hitting his breaking point back then, he knew it was time to “get his life back.”

While he was not proud or happy with “how it went down,” he sees the situation as a humbling experience that allowed him to “have a much better life” than what he was living before, specifically being able to truly focus on his kids and relationship with Lauren Zima.

Harrison also said that he hasn’t watched any of the Bachelor series since Matt James’ season of The Bachelor, which was the last one he hosted.

He still keeps an eye on the show’s ratings, however, noticing the numbers have been down 50-60% since his departure.

The Bachelor premieres on Monday, January 23 at 8/7c on ABC.

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