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Former 'Bachelor' star Colton Underwood comes out as gay

The former NFL player turned "Bachelor" star said he came to terms with his sexuality during this past year.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Wednesday, March 13, 2019 file photo, Colton Underwood from the reality series, "The Bachelor," appears during an interview in New York. (AP Photo/Gary Gerard Hamilton, File)

WASHINGTON — Colton Underwood, who headlined season 23 of "The Bachelor," told Robin Roberts in an interview that aired Wednesday morning that he is gay. 

"This year's been a lot for a lot of people and it's probably made a lot of people look themselves in the mirror and figure out who they are and what they've been running from or what they've been putting off in their lives," Underwood said during the "Good Morning America" interview. "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 have been processing it, and the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know."

The 29-year-old recounted in the interview how he got into a place with his personal life that was "dark" and "bad," but now he's "the happiest and healthiest I've ever been in my life. That means the world to me."

Most of the country was first introduced to Underwood when he was a contestant on Becca Kufrin's season of "The Bachelorette" in 2018, when he made it to the final four. 

The former NFL player was then cast as "The Bachelor" in 2019. His virginity became a frequent topic on the show and his "fence-jumping moment" was one of the reality show's most memorable moments.

During the show, he met Cassie Randolph and the two ended up dating until April 2020. Randolph eventually filed a temporary restraining order against Underwood, which she later dropped, according to E! News.

Underwood previously spoke about questioning his sexuality in his book, "The First Time: Finding Myself and Looking for Love on Reality TV." In the book, he said going on "The Bachelor" and dating Randolph helped him realize he was straight. 

During the "Good Morning America" interview, Underwood spoke about his relationship with Randolph and shared a message to her. 

“I’d like to say sorry for how things ended. I messed up. I made a lot of bad choices.” 

Underwood added that he was in love with Randolph, which only made things more confusing for him.

“I loved everything about her and 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,” Underwood explained. “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. I wish that it wouldn’t have happened the way that it did. I wish that I had been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else.”