The Bachelorette star Katie Thurston opened up during the latest episode about being a survivor of sexual assault.
On Monday, June 21, during a tense group date that involved the contestants sharing moments from their past that they regret, Katie then proved she was similarly ready to be vulnerable by describing an incident of sexual trauma she experienced 10 years ago. In recalling the assault, she revealed she had yet to even tell her mom about it.
"I know you see me today as this very sex-positive woman who's very confident, but she hasn't always been here," Katie said. "Ten years ago, it was New Year's Eve, and I had been drinking. I was involved in a situation where there wasn't consent, and that is not something I wish upon anybody. And I was in denial about what happened, so much so that I tried to form a relationship with him because I didn't wanna believe what actually had happened."
The 30-year-old reality TV star, who was famous for bringing a sex toy on Matt James' season of The Bachelor, went on to say that this experience led her to have a "very unhealthy relationship" with sex.
"I didn't want to have sex, which affects the relationship," she recalled. "I didn't like talking about sex. And it's taken me a long time to get to where I am now in being open and comfortable talking about it and loving myself and accepting things that I can no longer control. And I just want you guys to know that I've come a long way in who I was 10 years ago, and how important consent is, how important communication is."
She also participated in an episode of the podcast Talking It Out that posted that evening, where she told Bachelor Nation's Mike Johnson and Bryan Abasolo that she hadn't initially intended to share this story with the group.
"As we all sat there and started to open up, it actually became this very intimate setting of being vulnerable and sharing these very deep stories that are personal to each of us in our own way," Katie explained. "Going into it, I didn't think I was going to ever share something like that."
She continued, "But after hearing these men just really open up and cry...I just felt so comforted and supported in this safe circle, and I just had to let them know my story."
For more coverage of the episode, click here.