Colton Underwood, a former host of The Bachelor, recently revealed he was blackmailed into revealing his sexuality, Variety reports. “I, at one point, during my rock bottom and spiral, was getting blackmailed. Nobody knows I was blackmailed,” he was quoted saying. Underwood recounted receiving an anonymous email last year that contained nude photos of him at a spa known for its gay customers. The sender of the email threatened to make the photos public, he said, so he turned to his publicist for help, forcing him to reveal his sexuality to someone else for the first time.
Around the same time Underwood first “came out” as gay last year, news broke that he was given his own show by Netflix, prompting some critics to question if he had come out to promote his show. The news also coincided with stalking allegations made against him by an ex-girlfriend, leading to over 35,000 people signing a petition calling on the streaming service to cancel the show. “I never want people to think that I’m coming out to change the narrative, or to brush over and not take responsibility for my actions, and now that I have this gay life that I don’t have to address my past as a straight man,” he told Variety.