THE Bachelor star Colton Underwood has admitted he didn't tell his ex Cassie Randolph he was gay to "try and hold on to being straight".
In new snippets from his interview with Robin Roberts, the 29-year-old revealed he "made mistakes" by not telling his former girlfriend.
In portions of the Good Morning America interview aired during an episode of Nightline, Colton said he never spoke with her "at all" about the issue.
"I don't know if I ever will get the chance to sit down and talk with her," he explained. "I would like to. I would like to say sorry for how things ended."
Colton, who starred in Season 23 of the popular US show, added: "I made mistakes at the end of that relationship.
"I ruined the good memories we had by my actions and what I did to hold on to being straight because I din't want to look myself in the mirror."
He concluded by saying he was "extremely, extremely sorry" and apologised to his former girlfriend and Bachelor co-star.
It comes after Us Weekly revealed that Cassie, 25, was "not made aware" her ex would be coming out as gay on Good Morning America.
A source said of the news breaking: "To be honest, she hasn't really had time to navigate how she feels about it yet."
Colton bravely came out during a chat with TV host Robin, 60, earlier this week after admitting he "ran from himself for a long time".
"This year's been a lot for a lot of people and it's probably made a lot of people look at themselves and figure out who they are," he said.
"I’ve ran from myself for a long time, I’ve hated myself for a long time. I’m gay. I came to terms with that earlier this year, and the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know.
"I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my life. That means the world to me."
The reality star detailed how his "wake up call" happened after he was in a "dark and bad" place in his personal life.
"I think overall the reason why now is because I got to a place where I didn’t think I was ever going to share this," Colton went on. "I would have rather died than say, ‘I’m gay'."
Colton and Cassie got together on season 23 of The Bachelor, and left the show together without getting engaged in 2019.
They split shortly after in May 2020, and things turned messy when the TV personality filed a restraining order against the former professional football player.
Cassie claimed he had placed a tracking device on her car, but Colton denied the allegations and the order was dropped in November 2020.
"That only made it harder for me," he told in the interview of his former partner. "I loved everything about her.
"It's hard for me to articulate exactly what my emotions were in going through that relationship with her was because I obviously had an internal fight going on.
"I would just say that I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. I’m sorry for any pain and emotional stress I caused."
The TV personality concluded by revealing his hopes for his future, including pursuing his first relationship with a man.
"It’s never been, sort of, in my cards to let myself get there and I want to more than anything," he said.
It comes as Bachelor star Demi Burnett called for Colton to be “held accountable” for problematic behavior towards ex Cassie before he is “celebrated” for coming out.
The 26-year-old was the first star from the franchise to publicly come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community after she dated Colton as a contestant on his season of The Bachelor.
Now, Demi exclusively told The Sun she’s “very proud” to have Colton, 29, follow her lead as she understands how “scary and terrifying” the process can be.
“I know how that feels and I’m very proud of him for that. But I do want to make sure everyone respects Cassie who has gone through a lot and been very hurt by Colton,” she said of her close pal.
"I know she would never have filed that restraining order unless she had no other choice. It must’ve been terrifying for her.
“And I don’t want anyone to forget about that. We can praise Colton for being brave and coming out but he needs to be held accountable for what he did to Cassie,” she added.
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