Bachelor Nation favorite Mike Johnson has always been beloved for being charming, handsome and just plain happy — but he recently opened up about struggling with a painful sexual assault in his past.

In the introduction to his new book, Making the Love You Want, the 32-year-old detailed a harrowing experience with his former babysitter while his family was living in Germany. “My memories of fighting her off me and exploding out the front door to get away are still vivid,” Mike wrote. “Although I knew that what happened to me should never happen to any child, I couldn’t help but think something was wrong with me.” He was 5 years old at the time.

Mike Johnson Bachelor in Paradise week 2 arrival


The Bachelor in Paradise alum also revealed he decided not to tell his mother about the incident until he started writing the memoir/self-help hybrid. “I knew she would feel as if she was wrong, and I don’t want her to ever feel that way because there’s nothing she could have done,” he explained. “I wanted to protect her.”

Mike told People he specifically wanted to write the book to give a lifeline to other folks struggling with similar situations and show them they are not alone. “My book teaches people how to stand up in their power, and for me to help others, I practice what I preach and be authentic and let people know what I’ve been through,” the reality star told the outlet. “When you can connect with the author of one of your favorite books, it can make you feel so much better.”

The Air Force vet also revealed how much connecting with loved ones, friends and those he could trust aided in the healing process while writing this book. “When you talk about it, you gain strength,” Mike noted. “It was comforting … after those deep, vulnerable conversations, you’d be surprised how much your bond grows.”

The proud author competed for Hannah Brown‘s heart on season 15 of The Bachelorette in 2019, but he was eliminated in week 7. He returned to the Bachelor Nation universe on Bachelor in Paradise later that summer — but was eliminated by week 5.

We’re really glad to see Mike speaking truth to power.