On Feb. 13, Alexa "Lex" McAllister overdosed on prescription pills and was rushed to the hospital. After three days of watching her health deteriorate, her family took Lex off life support.
This marks the third known suicide of a member of Bachelor Nation, and former Bachelor contestants are now speaking out in the new issue of Life & Style — blaming the show for her tragic death.
“Bachelor is one of the most dangerous shows,” Jesse Csincsak, the season four Bachelorette winner and a pal of Lex’s, exclusively tells Life & Style. “It is not about finding love, it is about embarrassing the hell out of each and every contestant for ratings and money. It ruins people’s lives. I’m afraid this won’t be the last suicide.”
Jesse with former Bachelorette DeAnna Pappas.
Getting labeled on The Bachelor has a devastating effect, alleges Jesse, who only learned that Lex was depressed and bipolar from one of her family members after her death.
“You [become known as] ‘the slut,’ ‘the drunk,’ ‘the cheater,’ ‘the bully,’ ‘the loser,’ and you have to live with that for life,” Jesse tells Life & Style about the show’s formula. “That causes depression. For anyone who has been on the show, the process causes emotional issues. Lex was no different. Even though years have gone by, it still negatively affected her life.”
Contestants are evaluated with an extensive questionnaire before being let onto the show to make sure they can handle the process.
Bachelor Nation members Andi Dorfman, Sean Lowe, Catherine Giudici, Arie Luyendyk Jr., Jessie Sulidis, Chris Bukowski and Kathryn Sherlock have all acknowledged to Life & Style that there was a psychiatrist or psychologist on hand with some saying they spent time with the professional both before they were cast and if/when they got the boot.
Chris Bukowski with former Bachelorette Emily Maynard.
Some former contestants claim that the information The Bachelor does collect is used primarily to hurt rather than help.
“They have you write down your fears and if you say you are afraid of heights, they make sure they put you on the top of a skyscraper — that’s what makes good TV,” complains Jesse. “Their key is manipulation, and their knowledge of all your fears is power."
Another contestant, Chris Bukowski, who appeared on several Bachelor shows, became addicted to anxiety medication to deal with his own post-series stress.
“Social media alone and the awful things people can say is brutal," Chris tells Life & Style. "I am fearful that someone else could end up dying. The show needs to take Lex’s suicide into account and take enough steps to fix this and make it better.”
Her brother, Josh, who insists his family doesn’t blame The Bachelor for her death, tells Life & Style, “We want people to remember the beautiful life story she had and not the tragedy.”
For more on The Bachelor suicide, pick up the latest issue of Life & Style Weekly, on newsstands now!