He is in the process of rebuilding his life after an intense season of The Bachelor filled with multiple racial controversies.
And Matt James admitted to “ talking to therapists ” after putting his heart on the line in front of millions of viewers as the first black bachelor in the ABC dating show’s 18-year history.
The 29-year-old reality show star also spoke with WSJ. Magazine about giving winner Rachael Kirkconnell a second chance after the pair split up when past mistakes came to light shortly after the show aired.
Blooming: Matt James admitted to ‘talking to therapists’ after putting his heart on the line in front of millions of viewers as the first Black Bachelor in the ABC dating show’s 18-year history
The bachelor ended up in heartbreak and controversy in March after James gave Rachael his last rose but chose not to propose but then revealed he broke up while their pre-recorded episodes were still airing when ‘racist’ footage of her at a plantation-themed party was shown online, along with evidence from previous racially insensitive social media posts.
“I’ve talked to therapists – I wouldn’t say I have a specific therapist,” he said. “When you talk about things, the healing can begin.”
Matt, who had been with Rachael since Thanksgiving last year when the show ended, said he initially dismissed reports of her social media activity as “ dark and nasty ” rumors when they came out in late January.
But when a photo was revealed in early February of her attending a sorority-themed photo, Matt – whose After The Final Rose special wasn’t shot until March – said he decided to call it quits.
Do His Best: The 29-year-old reality show star also spoke to WSJ. Magazine about giving winner Rachael Kirkconnell a second chance after the couple broke up when past mistakes came to light shortly after the show aired
“I’ve talked to therapists – I wouldn’t say I have a specific therapist,” he said. ‘While you talk about things, the healing can begin’
A Better Time: While Matt didn’t propose about The Bachelor’s finale, he ended up giving Rachael his last rose
The couple recently decided to give their relationship a second chance and they have been spotted in New York.
“ I think the best way to put it is that we can have critical conversations about being in this relationship and what I need in a partner – especially if that woman isn’t black – to understand what’s going on with me and my live and be black, ‘he said.
“It’s up to people who care about being allies to do the job of being truly anti-racist,” says James. ‘And I think it’s unfair to give people the opportunity to unlearn and get better.’
The After The Final Rose special marked the first time the former couple came face to face since their split, and saw Rachael apologize to Matt personally, describing him as ‘the love of her life’.
To make it work: The couple recently decided to give their relationship a second chance and they’ve seen them reconnect in New York; seen on Instagram last year
Photos surfaced of attendee Rachael Kirkconnell at a plantation-themed party in 2018, as well as a history of liking photos with the Confederate flag
She also insisted that she take the time to educate herself about racism.
Rachael apologized in front of host Emmanuel Acho, a stand-in for longtime host Chris Harrison, who agreed to step down from hosting duties for a while after initially jumping to Rachael’s defense and then coming back with his own apology .
During the special, Matt said, “You want to believe that you know your person better than anyone else knows your person. This controversy swirls around who Rachael is and events she may have attended, photos she liked, and people she’s related to.
‘I’m trying to be there for her, and I’ve dismissed them as rumors because they were to me. You hear things that are heartbreaking and you just pray that they are not true. And then when you find out they are it, it just makes you question everything, ‘he added.
He also told WSJ. Magazine that during his time on the show, he never had sex with any of the women in the elusive fantasy suite, a place where the final contestants can connect the chosen more freely without the camera turning.
‘I can only speak for myself, but I think the women appreciated it,’ he said, ‘because I learned things about them that I wouldn’t have collected – which I don’t think I would have learned if I had didn’t use that time to really delve deeper into something they might not be comfortable talking about in front of the camera. ‘
Attempt: The After The Final Rose special marked the former couple’s first time face-to-face since their split, and saw Rachael apologize to Matt personally, describing him as’ the love of her life ‘