AceShowbiz - Colton Underwood was apparently forced to come out as gay. Nearly a month after he disclosed his sexual orientation in an emotional interview on "Good Morning America", the season 23 lead of "The Bachelor" confessed that he was blackmailed into making such decision.
In a cover feature for Variety, the 29-year-old reality star admitted that he went public with his sexuality out of fear. "I'll just say it, I, at one point, during my rock bottom and spiral, was getting blackmailed. Nobody knows I was blackmailed," he said in the piece published on Wednesday, May 13.
The former NFL player went on to detail that the blackmail came shortly after he made secret visit to a spa known for catering to gay clientele. At the time, he was living in Los Angeles. In the wake of the visit, he got an anonymous email threatening to "out" him using his nude photos taken from when he was at the spa.
While Colton insisted that he was at the spa "just to look," he resigned that he "should have never been there." He went on to admit that the threatening email sent him into a panic, prompting him to forward it to his publicist, Alex Spieller. "I knew that out of anybody in my world, my publicist wasn't going to ruin me," he reasoned.
On his decision to share his story, Colton stated, "I know people are saying that this story has been told, but I grew up in Central Illinois. I had never seen a football player that had made it to the NFL that had been gay, growing up Catholic." He added, "I've had hundreds of gay Christian men and women who are confused in their walk with Jesus say, 'I felt closer to God when I came out.' "
During his "GMA" interview, Colton admitted that he has ran from himself for a long time. "I've hated myself for a long time, and I'm gay. I came to terms with that earlier this year and trying to process it," he said. "I'm emotional, but in such a good happy positive way. I'm happiest and healthiest I've ever been in my life."
At the time, the TV personality also apologized to his ex Cassie Randolph "for any pain and emotional stress [he] caused." To host Robin Roberts, he shared, "I wish that it wouldn't have happened the way that it did. I wish that I had been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else."
In his Variety cover story, Colton addressed his fallout with Cassie that resulted in her filing a restraining order against him. "I did not physically touch or physically abuse Cassie in any way, shape or form," he tried to clear up the air.
"I never want people to think that I’m coming out to change the narrative, or to brush over and not take responsibility for my actions, and now that I have this gay life that I don't have to address my past as a straight man," he went on explaining. "Controlling situations to try to grasp at any part of the straight fantasy that I was trying to live out was so wrong."
On how his family is taking his coming out, Colton boasted, "My dad is proud to say that he is a conservative Republican, and he is also proud to say, I have a gay son." He went on to say, "I think it's important for America to hear that and see that. Right now, the media makes it seem like there is no middle ground."