The Bachelor’s Rachael Kirkconnell Finally Breaks Her Silence After Racist Photos of Her Emerge

On the heels of a disastrous Chris Harrison interview that has people petitioning for ABC to fire him, The Bachelor‘s Rachael Kirkconnell has publicly spoken up after photos surfaced of her attending an antebellum-themed plantation party in 2018 that celebrated the old South—i.e., racism, slavery, and widespread mistreatment of Black people.

Chris initially defended her amid the racist controversy during an interview with a very patient Rachel Lindsay, but he later took back his comments in an apology after outcry from fans and members of Bachelor Nation. Meanwhile, Rachael herself stayed quiet—until now.

While Rachael didn’t call out the photos specifically in the Instagram statement she posted Thursday evening, she apologized and pledged to educate herself while encouraging others to learn from her mistakes.

A post shared by rachael kirkconnell (@rachaelkirkconnell)

Here’s what it reads, in full:

A few hours before Rachael posted her statement, Reality Steve (known Bachelor sleuth) alleged that she had wanted to speak up earlier but was encouraged not to by ABC producers.

“Here’s the latest: I’ve been told that Rachael’s statement has been rejected by ABC. This has been going on too long for her not to say anything. It’s only gotten worse. Chris said something in 24 hrs. She’s listening to people she shouldn’t be,” he tweeted.

“My opinion is screw them, post the statement, & let them dare say she violated some contract, which she wouldn’t be doing. You can speak for yourself on your own social media accounts. But for whatever reason, they won’t let her and she’s obliging.”

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