‘Bachelorette’ Katie Thurston Reflects On Past Non-Consensual Situation

On the June 21 episode of “The Bachelorette,” Katie Thurston didn’t hold back when it came to sharing intimate yet painful details of her past. 

The heavy moment took place on a group date — hosted by former Bachelor Nick Viall — where suitors were expected to share any “red flags” or secrets Katie should know about them. What she thought would be a date about “spilling the tea, finding out what’s in the DMs, what’s the gossip about these men,” quickly “shifted” into a difficult conversation that prompted Katie to discuss an experience of her own, per People.

The men quickly shared their own raw and real details of their lives. Contestant, Connor Brennan, confessed that he had been unfaithful in the past. Per People, Connor said, “I got really, really drunk and I picked a fight with my girlfriend… ended up cheating on her and kind of blowing up my entire life in one day,” he shared. “And from there I read every self-help book I could find. I went to therapy,” adding: I used that to become a better man.”

Additionally, Thomas Jacobs shared he initially wasn’t there for the right reasons. He thought, “Worst-case scenario, I’d give it a shot and, yeah you can build a great platform” before realizing he developed feelings for Katie, saying that “the best thing I ever did was lean into the potential of what could be here.”

Katie then shared her story.

Katie talks a past situation 'where there wasn't consent'

Katie Thurston made her debut into the ‘Bachelor’ franchise embracing confidence and sex positivity but she wasn’t always like that. She bravely recounted a night 10 years ago where she was victim of a non-consensual sexual encounter. 

“I know you see me today as this very sex-positive woman, who’s very confident. She hasn’t always been here,” a visibly emotional Katie shared (via Entertainment Tonight) . “…I had been drinking. I was involved in a situation where there wasn’t consent, and that is not something I wish upon anybody.” She added: “That is something really big that has happened in my life, that in some ways has really shaped me to who exactly I am today.”  

Katie explained to Glamour why she never told her mother about this experience. “It was only two weeks ago that I told my mom because I knew this episode was coming up and I didn’t want her to find out on TV,” she said. “I think, as a mother, it was hard for her to feel like she couldn’t be there for me or that she didn’t feel like a safe space for me.”

Katie took to Instagram Stories to thank her fans for their support and for reaching out to her with their own experiences. “I wish I could reply to every single DM. I thank you for taking the time to share your story with me.”

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN’s National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

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