Rachel Lindsay opened up about the continued backlash she’s faced since her infamous interview with The Bachelor franchise’s former host, Chris Harrison.
Chris sparked outrage among fans after he defended The Bachelor contestant, Rachael Kirkconnell, when several controversial photos from her past emerged. Rachel challenged his comments, and the interview went viral.
In the wake of the aftermath, the long-time Bachelor host stepped down from his position.
Rachel spoke out about how she is still targeted for the interview in an exclusive with PEOPLE Magazine this week.
Rachel Lindsay was brutally targeted following the interview
“I’m used to being misunderstood,” Rachel told PEOPLE. “But people who didn’t even watch the show were saying, ‘That woman got that man canceled.’ I had commenters saying they hoped I was infertile. That ripped me up inside.”
The initial brutal response toward Rachel led the Bachelorette to distance herself from social media and briefly deactivate her Instagram account.
She also recently revealed that she struggles with PTSD from the interview and the response. Although Chris did offer Rachel an apology for the interview, he later unfollowed her and the two have not spoken since.
“I still get messages blaming me for the show not being the way it used to be,” Rachel said.
Rachel Lindsay distances herself from the franchise
Rachel went on to include that she still hopes The Bachelor franchise will take steps to diversify the cast and show.
Rachel Lindsay is well-known for her role in pushing the franchise for more accountability and diversity. Rachel was the first black lead on the show and The Bachelorette of season 13. She and her final pick, Bryan Abasolo, are still married and thriving.
Despite her hopes, however, Rachel has been clear about wanting to distance herself from the show in order to protect her own mental health. She ended her contract with The Bachelor and is currently focusing on the upcoming release of her book and her family.
Rachel’s book of essays called Miss Me With That: Hot Takes, Helpful Tidbits, and a Few Hard Truths will be released on January 25.
The book will include at least an entire chapter dedicated to mental health and Rachel’s journey through therapy and healing.
“I’m so glad I did the show and had the opportunity to represent myself,” Rachel said in the same interview. “There were benefits I got from it, obviously, but I didn’t have a Black consultant. I was teaching them about the Black experience and trying to find love at the same time, something no other lead had to do.”
The Bachelorette is currently on hiatus.