Here’s something I never thought I’d say: Colton Underwood had a powerful conversation on “The Bachelor.”
The guy has a tendency to repeat the same adjective twice in one breath. (“You guys look amazing; Singapore’s been amazing.”). And, like many Bachelors before, his chats with the ladies tend to be about assessing how comfortable he is with them, and how great the date activity is. But this week, Colton also had something real: A meaningful conversation with Caelynn (a Miss USA runner-up, clearly a frontrunner here) about sexual assault.
After the two go on a shopping date – they’re all in Singapore, “A ‘Bachelor’ first,” says host Chris Harrison – where Colton (ABC?) buys her dresses with feathers and fringe, Caelynn opens up about her assault story.
“This is a conversation that I have to have,” Caelynn says. “Four years ago, I was a sophomore in college (and I was) sexually assaulted.” She gives details about what men did to her while she was incapacitated, how she had to go to two hospitals for a rape kit, how she waited to tell her mother and how, for a long time, a gentle touch on the shoulder would trigger her. It’s a moving moment, even for a reality-TV cynic.
Colton looks concerned, loving and open. He says, “I want you to know, with me you’re safe.” He references a past girlfriend, perhaps gymnast Aly Raisman (who has sued the USOC over her sexual abuse by Larry Nassar): “I have had a situation in my past where I was in a relationship in which she was sexually abused.” He wipes an invisible tear, but it still feels real. “For me, that was the hardest thing I ever had to watch. … Going through something with someone. Looking in their eyes and knowing the pain associated with it, (but) who am I to feel the pain because I wasn’t the victim?”
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