Matt James from The Bachelor revealed he and Rachael Kirkconnell broke up. The split occurred after her racially insensitive photos resurfaced.
During The Bachelor aftershow, Matt James revealed he and winner Rachael Kirkconnell broke up shortly after the season ended due to her racially insensitive photos that resurfaced. Throughout the last days of filming, Matt knew he wasn’t quite ready to get down on one knee and propose to either Rachael or runner-up Michelle Young. Ultimately, he sent Michelle home during their last date and canceled his last one with Rachael. The couple then met at the final rose ceremony and decided to continue a relationship off-screen.
Toward the end of the season, Matt was head-over-heels for Rachael. Many viewers had a feeling these two would end up together. The relationship began to fall apart after Matt realized those pictures Rachael was involved in were true. Matt clearly wanted to make the relationship work, and so did Rachael, but it was difficult for him to see beyond her past mistakes. As a Black man, Matt did not want to move forward with their relationship after seeing what Rachael has done in her past.
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During the After The Final Rose ceremony (via E! Online), Matt and Rachael split shortly after they left the Nemacolin resort. At first, the couple was madly in love, with the 29-year-old even referring to their time together as an “extended honeymoon period.” Shortly after leaving the show, the racially insensitive photos of Rachael were released on social media, causing Matt to take a pause and reevaluate their relationship. He revealed, “You wanna believe that you know your person better than anybody else knows your person,” adding, “This controversy swirling around who Rachael is and events she might’ve attended, pictures that she liked and people that she’s associated with.” Matt wanted to believe Rachael was never this person.
He then recalled a time before Rachael or Chris Harrison spoke on the matter and just wanted to be there for her. “I’m trying to be there for her, and I dismissed them as rumors because that’s what they were to me,” he said to the temporary host, Emmanuel Acho, before adding, “You hear things that are heartbreaking and you just pray they’re not true. And then, when you find out that they are it just makes you question everything.” Once Rachael acknowledged she had much to learn about racial inequality, Matt realized she “might not understand what it means to be Black in America.” Matt then concluded that he couldn’t move forward with the relationship, no matter how heartbreaking it was.
After their chat with Emmanuel Acho during the ATFR special, Matt and Rachael’s relationship seems to have come to an official close. Rachael showed remorse for her past mistakes and was hoping for a reconciliation with Matt. She promised to put in the work to do better and be better, but it wasn’t enough for Matt to put his heart on the line. Right now, Matt wants Rachael to learn on her own as he can not help her do the work. Maybe one day in the future, Matt will consider giving Rachael another chance.
Next: Bachelor: Former Contestants Cite Lack of Support Over Racism on Set
Sources: E! Online
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