Can’t stay away. Chris Harrison shared his first Instagram post since confirming his departure from The Bachelor, celebrating his longtime love, Lauren Zima.
“Another incredible trip around the sun with this beautiful woman,” the Texas native, 50, gushed on Saturday, August 7, alongside a slideshow of romantic photos with the reporter, 33. “@laurenzima I love you for your wisdom, strength, vulnerability, theatrics, compassion, advice, laughter, grace…your love. The only woman that can remain chic as sh*t while doing a Voldemort impersonation.”
Harrison continued, “I love you LZ Happy anniversary! Can’t wait to see what the next trip around the sun brings us❤️.”
Zima left a lighthearted reply in the comments section, teasing, “Extremely glad this post included a #HarryPotter reference – I agree to keep dating you!!! 🙏❤️😘.”
The couple began dating in 2018, six years after the Perfect Letter author split from Gwen Harrison, with whom he shares son Joshua and daughter Taylor.
The ABC personality’s anniversary tribute marked the first time he’d shared a post since June, when he confirmed that he would no longer be hosting the network’s popular reality dating series. He previously stepped away temporarily after coming under fire in February for his support of controversial season 25 winner Rachael Kirkconnell, whose past racially insensitive social media activity was resurfaced while Matt James‘ season aired. The couple briefly split amid the scandal, but have since reunited.
After receiving backlash for his remarks earlier this year, the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? host issued several apologies. In March, he addressed the situation on Good Morning America, declaring at the time that he hoped to come back to the franchise.
“I am an imperfect man, I made a mistake and I own that,” he said. “I believe that mistake doesn’t reflect who I am or what I stand for. I am committed to progress, not just for myself, also for the franchise. And this is a franchise that has been a part of my life for the better part of 20 years and I love it.”
Later that month, ABC announced that Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams would be taking over as cohosts for Katie Thurston‘s season 17 of The Bachelorette. The duo are set to return for Michelle Young‘s season 18 journey, airing this fall.
Us Weekly confirmed in June that the former Hollywood 411 personality reached an eight-figure settlement with ABC upon deciding to leave the franchise, with a source later revealing that “the whole situation is frustrating” for the ousted host. Despite the circumstances of his exit, Chris noted that he wouldn’t have changed anything about his time with the show.
“I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter,” he captioned an Instagram post addressing his exit at the time. “I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.”
Since his departure was made permanent, Chris has received an outpouring of support from some of Bachelor Nation’s biggest stars, including season 24 Bachelor Peter Weber.
“The show is going to miss him. … I think ratings, I mean, those don’t lie. They’re kind of already showing that,” the pilot told Entertainment Tonight in June. “It’s sad for all parties involved, to have it end the way it did with him having been such a prominent role in that franchise, and really, I think, being the biggest reason why it grew to be as big as it has become.”
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