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Matt James reveals how he could forgive Rachael Kirkconnell after her racially insensitive past mistake

Matt James & Rachael Kirkconnell
Matt explains how he was able to forgive Rachael and move forward. Pic credit: ABC

Season 25 of The Bachelor with Matt James was one for the books, both on and off the screen. First, Matt had a record number of women who wanted to be considered for the show since he was the leading man.

Moreover, Rachael Kirkconnell, one of Matt’s many contestants, caught his eye from the moment she stepped out of the limo on night one. During the duo’s first one-on-one, they both told each other they were falling in love with the other.

While the show aired, however, Rachael was receiving a great deal of backlash and criticism for a racially insensitive action that she had participated in… a plantation party in college. Because of this, Matt and Rachael called it quits, at least for a while. But as Bachelor Nation fans wondered if Matt could ever forgive Rachael for her past actions and racially insensitive decisions, Rachael continued apologizing, both to Matt and on social media.

How was Matt James able to completely forgive Rachael Kirkconnell?

In his memoir, First Impressions, which is set to be released in May of this year, Matt was bluntly honest about their relationship, how he felt, and how he was able to eventually forgive Rachael.

He stated, “I shared how it felt seeing her, a woman I loved, embody a role that had once so antagonized me… She didn’t offer her ignorance as an excuse. Just a fact – she paired it with the facts of her remorse and regret. … She apologized for the pain I felt. I forgave her.”

The former Bachelor also revealed that after the finale and discussion in the hot seat with Rachael, he went back out into the dating pool and reconnected with former women, which he regretted afterward.

He wrote about that in his book and said, “It was a mistake” and that Rachael was left feeling “betrayed” when she heard he had done that.

What initially happened during, and after, Matt’s season aired?

Matt, at first, had stated in interviews that there would be no chance of a reconciliation with Rachael because the damage had been done. He added that there needed to be a lot of work done on Rachael’s side of things, and a lot to process on his side.

This particular incident was also the start of Chris Harrison’s demise. As The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise host from the very beginning of the franchise, Chris was forced out after he offered support to Rachael during an interview with Rachel Lindsay.

Matt and Rachael, after quite a bit of time, a great deal of work on Rachael’s part to better her understanding of things, and a lot of heart-to-heart discussions, were able to work out their relationship.

In his memoir, Matt declared, “I decided to be better going forward. She had done self-work that I hadn’t reciprocated. I promised her that I was all in.” Matt ended by saying, “It was the best decision I could have made.”

While the couple has most definitely had their ups and downs, it seems they are now a power couple who is happier than ever after the obstacles they faced and got over.

The Bachelor is currently on hiatus.

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