As Rachel Lindsay’s interview with Chris Harrison regarding season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell continues to make headlines, the season 13 Bachelorette is giving more context to their controversial chat.
On the Friday, February 12, episode of the “Higher Learning” podcast, Lindsay, 35, broke down behind-the-scenes details of her interview with Harrison, 49, which included a conversation about 24-year-old Kirkconnell, a frontrunner on Matt James’ season who has been accused of being racist.
“When I brought Chris Harrison onto Extra, he was going to talk about last night’s episode [of The Bachelor]. I brought him in on a Tuesday [and] he’s going to talk about what happened on Monday,” the former lawyer told cohost Van Lathan, noting that there was no one from the show’s PR team on the call with them. “We did do that. But then I asked a question [because] something he said made me poke a little harder. So, I phrased the question, ‘What are your thoughts about the allegations against Rachael?’” And then he went off.”
Lindsay subsequently played clips from the 13-minute video, in which Harrison emphasized that the controversial photos of Kirkconnell at an “Old South”-themed party on a plantation in Georgia were taken in 2018.
“I saw a picture of her at a sorority party five years ago, that’s it,” Harrison told Lindsay about Kirkconnell on Tuesday, February 9. “My guess? These girls got dressed up and went to a party and had a great time, they were 18 years old. Now, does that make it OK? I don’t know Rachel, you tell me. Were we all looking through [that lens] in 2018?”
On “Higher Learning,” Lindsay said that Harrison’s “privilege was on display” during the interview.
“During that conversation, he talked over me and at me, during that conversation,” she said. “He never gave me room to talk. And he never gave me room to share my perspective. He wasn’t trying to hear it. He was just trying to be heard. And that’s because I felt like he had an agenda that he was trying to push. He was really trying to push that forward. He expressed everything that he said, with passion and conviction. So, for me, Tuesday is what it was. And I’m not saying that he can’t be apologetic. I’m not saying that he can’t learn and be better from it.”
Amid backlash from fans and members of Bachelor Nation, Harrison released an apology statement on Wednesday, February 10: “I took a stance on topics about which I should have been better informed. While I do not speak for Rachael Kirkconnell, my intentions were simply to ask for grace in offering her an opportunity to speak on her own behalf. What I now realize I have done is cause harm by wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism, and for that I am so deeply sorry.”
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Harrison also included an apology for Lindsay and a promise to “do better” in the future.
“I definitely want to say that he did reach out to me,” the reality TV personality said on the “Higher Learning” podcast about the longtime Bachelor host. “We had a conversation, a short conversation, but we had a conversation. And he apologized, and I appreciate that. And then he did the statement. But I’m having a really, really hard time. reasoning, or, like, really taking in and accepting this apology.”
Kirkconnell, for her part, broke her silence on the scandal via Instagram on Thursday, February 11. Lindsay and Lathan were recording their show at the time and reacted to her statement on “Higher Learning.”
Scroll through for more revelations from their conversation: