Colton Underwood kept his past relationship with Aly Raisman under wraps while appearing on The Bachelorette and explained to Us Weekly the heartfelt reason why.
“To be very candid about it, she’s going through enough right now,” the 26-year-old reality star told Us on Friday, July 20. “She doesn’t deserve to be in this at all. I have so much love and respect for Aly and the voice that she is and the role model that she is for every young woman out there.”
Underwood added that “there is no reason to distract from what she’s doing right now,” in regards to the 24-year-old olympic gymnast’s involvement in the Larry Nassar case. “I have so much respect for Aly and what she stands for and what she’s gone through that she shouldn’t be brought up in this.”
As for Raisman’s powerful speech at the 2018 ESPYs earlier this month, where she stood alongside 141 survivors of the disgraced doctor’s sexual abuse to accept the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Underwood has one word for it.
“Unbelievable,” he gushed,” adding, “she and all of her friends — and everything they have done — has honestly moved our society in such a positive way and such a positive direction.”
Underwood was eliminated from Becca Kufrin’s season of the reality dating show following hometown dates.
Raisman, for her part, has been vocal in the Nassar scandal, even speaking at his sentencing last year. As previously reported, he was sentenced to 175 years in prison for sexual abuse against more than 100 victims.
With reporting by Emily Marcus.