The Bachelorette’s Clare Crawley Shares She Was Abused By a “Predator” Priest

In an exclusive first look at Thursday's episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans, Clare Crawley shared that she was the "victim" of a priest while attending Catholic school as a child.

By Lindsay Weinberg Sep 29, 2021 6:00 PMTags
Watch: 7 Things to Know About Clare Crawley

Clare Crawley revealed she "was a victim of a predator" while growing up in Sacramento. 

The reality star, who led the 16th season of The Bachelorette, shared her experience with an abusive priest for the first time while filming an upcoming episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans. E! News got an exclusive first look at Crawley's conversation, which will debut on Facebook Watch on Sept. 30. 

She said she interacted with the priest while attending a Catholic school, which "treated him as a counselor."

"My parents looked at Catholic priests as—they held them on a pedestal," she told hosts Gloria Estefan, Emily Estefan and Lili Estefan. "It is very deep in our roots."

Crawley, now 40, said her parents "did the best they could" with raising her. "[They] reached out for the resources they could at the time and sent me to this priest," she recalled. 

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But it wasn't what she thought it would be. As she said, "I don't think there was any counseling that was done. It was a one-on-one time to be a predator." 

According to the official episode description, "The Estefans sit down for a revealing conversation with the first Latina Bachelorette, Clare Crawley. Clare shares her story of being molested by a Catholic priest as a child. Dr. Ramirez details the warning signs to identify abuse in children."

Crawley's full conversation will premiere on Facebook Watch on Thursday.

In July, Crawley reflected on the lasting effects of being a "child of sexual abuse" in a lengthy Instagram caption.

"Self love is the act of giving a voice to your truth. So here is mine," she wrote. "As a child of sexual abuse, my young adult years were spent in unhealthy relationships feeling unworthy of the good ones. It was a vicious cycle, because the more I chose the wrong men who treated me poorly, the more I believed I wasn't good enough."

Crawley said she turned to breast implants to help her self-esteem, though she feels the "money that would have been better spent on therapy to heal my wounded heart. I ended up spending the money on therapy anyway." She has since learned to love herself "deeply" and "knows her worth," and thus decided to remove her implants over the summer.

"We are taking it back to Clare 1.0, who is lovable and worthy just the way she is," she concluded.

In the past, the hairstylist has also been candid about her experience with anxiety and panic attacks. In January, she told fans she had "the worst anxiety" after her season of The Bachelorette aired on ABC.

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"It really got to me," she said in an Instagram video. "I held it in and tried to be strong for so long. I am a strong person, but I tried to be that for so long that I didn't share a lot of my struggles with anxiety... because I never wanted to be like, 'Poor me, poor me' or the victim of anything."

Crawley said she was working on improving her "mindset" by watching the documentary Heal and practicing gratitude every day.

"There's been days where it's hard searching for gratitude," she explained. "You just want to curl into a ball and cry sometimes and not get out of bed, which has been some days for me for sure. But the days that I practice gratitude, I get out of bed."

Last year, she told former host Chris Harrison that the key to being a strong woman is to "believe in yourself and know what you stand for," and it seems she's taking that to heart.

For free, confidential help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit rainn.org.