The Bachelor's Matt James Reveals He Broke Up With Rachael Kirkconnell After Social Media Scandal

The Bachelor's Matt James addressed Rachael Kirkconnell's social media scandal and revealed he broke up with her after realizing how "problematic" her actions were.

By Cydney Contreras, Alyssa Morin Mar 16, 2021 2:35 AMTags

Matt James is still searching for his special someone.

During The Bachelor finale on Monday, March 15, the 29-year-old lead announced that he and Rachael Kirkconnell split shortly after they left the Bachelor set.

Matt reflected on the first few days of their post-Bachelor relationship, calling that period of time an "extended honeymoon period."

But then, he said the racially insensitive photos of Rachael were released on social media and it made him reconsider how he viewed her. He explained, "You wanna believe that you know your person better than anybody else knows your person," before adding, "This controversy swirling around who Rachael is and events she might've attended, pictures that she liked and people that she's associated with."

As Matt recalled, "Before Rachael addressed anything or Chris Harrison spoke on anything, I'm trying to be there for her, and I dismissed them as rumors, because that's what they were to me. You hear things that are heartbreaking and you just pray they're not true. And then, when you find out that they are it just makes you question everything."

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He added that when Rachael acknowledged she had more to learn about racial equality, he realized, "I wasn't okay because it was in that moment and the conversation that I had that—Rachael might not understand what it means to be Black in America."

It was at that point he told Rachael he couldn't move forward with their relationship, as "heartbreaking" as it was to say goodbye to her.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

Throughout the season, it was clear Rachael and Matt had a special connection. So much so, The Bachelor lead confessed he was falling for the graphic designer first.

ABC/Craig Sjodin

News of their split comes about a month after Rachael came under fire for her past social media behavior, as well as the show's own scandal following Chris' controversial remarks about The Bachelor contestant.

Both Chris and Rachael would publicly apologize. 

On Feb. 11, the Georgia native took to Instagram, sharing in part, "I didn't recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn't excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist."

Moreover, Chris addressed his controversial comments and announced he was temporarily exiting the ABC franchise.

"I have spent the last few days listening to the pain my words have caused, and I am deeply remorseful," the host wrote in part on Feb. 13. "My ignorance did damage to my friends, colleagues and strangers alike. I have no one to blame but myself for what I said and the way I spoke."

As seen on tonight's special, Emmanuel Acho replaced Chris and discussed the show's controversy head-on.

That being said, Chris was heard throughout the show as he did voiceovers to introduce Emmanuel, sparking outrage from the Bachelor Diversity Campaign. The group wrote on Twitter, "Chris Harrison is not the man for this moment. This show needs mental health support for its cast without a vested interest in drama."

E! News reached out to ABC for comment.

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