Rachael Kirkconnell was seen hanging out with some of her fellow Bachelor co-stars in New York just ahead of the weekend amid her racism controversy. The former Bachelor winner was seen hanging out with Chelsea Vaughn, Abigail Heringer, Pieper James, Kit Keenan and Khaylah Epps. The ladies took to social media showing their fans they're still having fun and that they're on good terms with her despite the controversy.
Although Kirckconnell left The Bachelor as a taken woman with Matt James, the two ended up going their separate ways following the resurfaced photos of her attending an antebellum plantation-style party in 2018. Vaughn posted a video of the girls playing a little game of "pass the phone." "I'm gonna pass the phone to someone whose face is tomato red right now," Vaughn said before handing it to Keenan. "Okay I'm gonna pass the phone to somebody who really doesn't care," Keenan said before handing it off to James. "I'm gonna pass the phone to somebody that did everyone's eyeliner," she said before handing it off to Kirkconnell.
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Kirkconnell then said, "I'm gonna pass the phone to someone who face-planted on a group date," and then passed it to Heringer. She then said, "I'm gonna hand the phone to someone who is very frustrated and very annoyed." Epps then said, "I'm passing the phone to best dressed in Bachelor Nation," referring to Vaughn.
Although Kirkconnell and James are no longer a couple, an insider told PEOPLE that James does support her as a friend. "They are not together. He supports her as a friend. He is not looking for a relationship," the source said. "Matt is focused on engaging in meaningful projects in the community at this time." However, while they aren't together now, there was a point in time where they were trying to make it work.
As a result of the controversial photos, a lot has sparked since. During an interview with Rachel Lindsay, Chris Harrison was questioned about Kirkconnell's actions and he said that he didn't feel she should be attacked before she had a chance to defend herself. With a lot of onlookers disagreeing, Harrison announced he would be stepping away from the franchise for a period of time. As for Lindsay — who was the first Black female lead — she said she would be cutting ties here soon with the franchise altogether as a result.