Colton Underwood is publicly apologizing to ex-girlfriend Cassie Randolph. Appearing on Good Morning America Thursday for a conversation with Robin Roberts, during which he came out as gay, the former Bachelor contestant opened up about his relationship with his ex and their tumultuous split, offering up a public apology for his behavior.
Underwood and Randolph met during The Bachelor's Season 23 run in 2019. At the time, Underwood was still struggling to accept his sexuality and even thanked God one morning for "making" him straight. He told Roberts his relationship with Randolph made his struggle with his sexuality even "harder and more confusing" because he "loved everything about her." Underwood said it is difficult for him "to articulate exactly what my emotions were in going through that relationship," explaining, "I obviously had an internal fight going on."
After giving the final rose to Randolph during his season of the dating competition, the couple dated for more than a year before calling it quits in May 2020. Their relationship quickly spiraled, with Randolph filing a restraining order against Underwood in September 2020, alleging he had been stalking her. She eventually dropped the order in November. Now, months later, Underwood apologized.
"I would just say that I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart," Underwood said. "I'm sorry for any pain and emotional stress I caused. I wish it wouldn't have happened the way it did. I wish that I would have been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else."
During his candid discussion with Roberts, Underwood also offered an apology to the other women he met during his time on the ABC dating competition, who he felt he "misled" and the viewers who "were cheering him on and wanting him to find love." Underwood said he "could have handled it better."
"I just wish I wouldn't have dragged people into my own mess of figuring out who I was," he said. "I genuinely mean that, but also, at the same time I can say I'm sorry to all of those women, I can also thank them, and without the Bachelor franchise, I don't know if this would have ever come out."
Underwood, who said he knew he was "different" since he was 6 but struggled to accept his sexuality because he grew up in the Catholic church and played football, said he "came to terms" with his sexuality "earlier this year" amid the coronavirus pandemic, which "made a lot of people look themselves in the mirror and figure out who they are and what they've been running from." He said he is now the "happiest and healthiest" he has ever been.