“I felt like I’ve been very respectful of how I’ve handled a lot of that situation,” the 28-year-old former Bachelor says on Us Weekly’s Bachelor podcast, “Here for the Right Reasons,” about writing about his ex. “Hopefully she’s doing well, and she doesn’t take offense to anything I put in there.”
Underwood addresses his relationship with the 25-year-old gymnast for the first time in his memoir.
“Aly was easy to talk to. She was open, funny, bright, honest, and inquisitive,” the former football player wrote in the book, which was released on Tuesday, March 31. “The more time I spent with Aly, the more attractive I found her. She was funny, sharp, and cool about things. She was very mature for her age, no doubt from having to grow up fast. She was together. She worked hard in and out of the gym.”
While fans knew they dated before Underwood joined Bachelor Nation, Raisman was never mentioned by name on the ABC series. Months before Underwood first appeared on The Bachelorette in 2018, the Olympian faced disgraced coach Larry Nassar in court over his alleged abuse of hundreds of athletes.
“I think I came to the conclusion that I was OK to talk about it as long as it was from my point of view, and it was my story,” Underwood tells Us on the podcast. “I’m glad that ABC and Bachelor was OK with keeping her off limits during not only The Bachelorette and Paradise, but in my season as well, because you know, she’s such an incredible inspiration to so many people and she’s in many girls and many people’s opinions a hero and I can’t, you know, thank her and support her enough for what she’s doing right now for everyone out there and being the strong voice and leader that she is.”
He added: “The last thing I wanted to do is be some bimbo that went on a reality TV show that took away from you know, someone so impactful, and I wanted to be conscious of that and hopefully I didn’t take anything away from anybody.”
In the book, Underwood details how Raisman told him about Nassar.
“I wanted to find Nassar and rip his head off,” Underwood wrote. “I made it a point to listen rather than ask too many questions. … Just watching her go through that was painful. Her struggle with what had happened and the deep pain of the violation to her body and spirit and ability to trust only intensified as the case against Nassar took over the news. I felt helpless.”
For more from Underwood — including which exes he warned about the book, behind-the-scenes scoop about The Bachelor and more — listen to this week’s “Here For the Right Reasons” podcast.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!