This week, former The Bachelorette host Kaitlyn Bristowe opened up about the end of her friendship with Chris Harrison, explaining how their relationship “went down the toilet” after she was offered the gig.
Harrison hosted the ABC dating franchise for 19 years, from its very first season in 2002 until 2021, when he stepped down amid allegations of racism after defending a plantation-themed party attended by The Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell.
After his departure, Bristowe and another former The Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams, were temporarily brought on to fill the hosting role, guiding Season 17’s Katie Thurston on her journey.
Although Bristowe said she had “loved” hosting the series, the job also led to her rift with Harrison, whom she said used to be a “dear friend.”
“They offered me the position,” Bristowe said on Tuesday’s episode of the pop-culture podcast Not Skinny But Not Fat, adding that producers had characterized her role as a “mentor” to Thurston and assured her that she “wouldn’t be replacing” Harrison.
But then, Bristowe continued, “all these articles started coming out saying, ‘Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams replacing Chris Harrison.'” The coverage made her feel “icky” about the whole situation, so she reached out to Harrison – but the damage was already done.
“I messaged Chris probably about ten times without him responding,” the Canadia native said.
Kaitlyn Bristowe on Chris Harrison: ‘he hates me’
On the podcast Tuesday, Bristowe said she had reached out to Harrison multiple times in hopes of patching up their friendship but never gotten back a response.
“I just wanted him to know that I thought he was irreplaceable,” Bristowe explained.
But when her messages went unanswered, she realized “he hates me.”
Still, the one-time Dancing with the Stars winner said it didn’t truly sink in that her friendship with Harrison was over until she saw him in person at former The Bachelorette contestant Wells Adams’ wedding to actress Sarah Hyland in August of 2022.
At the wedding, Bristowe said, she walked up to Harrison and told him she missed him. “He was like, ‘Well, I’ve always been here,’ and I’m like, ‘No, you haven’t.'”
The Bachelorette’s Kaitlyn Bristowe opens up about hosting drama
Bristowe revealed that she had cried over the rift with Harrison, lamenting how their friendship fell apart.
The former spin class instructor said she had once considered Harrison, a “best friend.” They were so close, Bristowe explained, that her fiancé, podcast host Jason Tartick, would have had to ask Harrison – along with her father and step-dad – for permission to propose.
But the former The Bachelorette also tried not to take things personally, explaining that she thought Harrison’s behavior was more about himself than her.
At the time, Bristowe explained, Harrison was “going through so much in his life.”
She added that Harrison was “probably really crushed” over the way his own The Bachelor hosting gig ended, explaining that the longtime face of the franchise had “wanted to go out on top.”
The Bachelorette is currently on hiatus on ABC.