Olivia Caridi, the villain of Ben Higgins' season of The Bachelor, opened up to Page Six on Friday, April 15, about her mental and emotional stability while the series aired.
The reality star told the New York Post that January to March "was a really dark time," and that she contemplated suicide. The local Virginia TV anchor ended up moving back home to Austin, Texas, to live with her parents, and she would pass her time by staring at the walls in a zombie-like state.
"I was badly bullied as a child because I was overweight," Caridi mentioned. "It felt like I was in middle school again. I thought many times what it would be like if I wasn’t alive."
On the series, the 24-year-old was targeted for her bad breath, big mouth and cankles by show contestants. From her end, Caridi memorably got into a confrontation with single mom of two Amanda Stanton after calling her fellow contestant a "teen mom" in one episode. Oftentimes, the journalist — who received the first impression rose from Higgins — was called out for being insensitive to her fellow castmates. Higgins sent her home in week six after Caridi's fellow housemates informed him of her behavior.
During this time, Bachelor producers offered up their show's on-call therapist to the season 20 contestant. (The Bachelor franchise has already dealt with the suicides of three contestants: Gia Allemand, Lex McAllister and Julien Hug. Beloved season 17 Bachelor Sean Lowe blogged about the deaths last month, writing: "There are moments when the glittery, perfumed, hairsprayed, romantic facade of The Bachelor is penetrated by hard truths. Three people from the Bachelor family committing suicide should cause us all to pause. But it’s not just the Bachelor franchise.")
Despite the emotional roller coaster that was early 2016, a new and improved Caridi said she has zero regrets about going on the show. "It was worth it," she told Page Six. "I’m one of these hopeless romantics. I thought it could happen on TV."
The reality contestant also said she was done with that particular genre of television. However, she told young women: "If you’re so inclined, go for it!"
Watch her confront her fellow contestants on the Women Tell All episode above.
If you or someone you know is struggling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
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