Chris Harrison will reportedly receive a $25 million payday to keep quiet about The Bachelor franchise. The former host of the ABC series asked for the staggering eight-figure amount after not being asked to return to host the series after almost 20 years in the position.
Page Six reported that Harrison threatened to spill all the franchise’s dirty secrets if he didn’t get the payout he requested.
“He has nearly 20 years of dirt,” an ABC source claimed.
“Instead of handing them a rose, he was absolutely ready to hand them a lawsuit detailing all the behind-the-scenes details,” the source continued.
Harrison was reportedly ready to return to the franchise after stepping back in March. This was in the wake of commentary he made during an interview with Rachel Lindsay regarding former Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, where he said she should be given grace after racist imagery surfaced from her days as a college student.
Harrison took the fall for his comments and after initially separating after the photographs surfaced, Rachael and Bachelor star Matt James reunited and are involved in a serious relationship.
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Harrison was ready to return to The Bachelor
After sitting out the finale of Season 25 titled After The Final Rose, fans of the series were hopeful Harrison would return for Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette. When he was subsequently replaced by former series stars Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe as hosts, Harrison remained mum.
What reportedly caused the former hosts was when he learned he would be replaced by a series of hosts for this summer’s Bachelor in Paradise and would not return for Michelle Young’s Bachelorette season this fall.
Insiders said Harrison wouldn’t leave the show quietly.
“Chris Harrison’s whole life was The Bachelor,’ and he didn’t want to let go,” the source said. “He still is really sad to leave, and there have been very tough and very heated negotiations going on for weeks.”
How much does Chris Harrison know?
ABC reportedly paid up after worries that Harrison could sign a book deal or make the rounds of talk shows, where he could potentially tell set secrets from his 20 years with the franchise.
“He knows a lot about inappropriate behavior on set: fights between contestants, misbehavior including use of illegal substances while overseas and complaints from producers that were allegedly brushed under the carpet by ABC execs,” a source told Page Six.
“He was ready to tell the truth about how things really work over there — and he has plenty of evidence to back him up. Chris was making $5 million a season and wanted $25 million to go,” the source continued.
Terms of the settlement were kept under wraps, but the whopper of a payday will likely keep Bachelor Nation’s secrets as they are.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.