Although the leading man fell hard and fast for Rachael, her social media controversy overshadowed much of their love story. The scandal started after the season premiere on January 4 when a TikTok user accused the Georgia native of mistreating her during high school for “liking Black guys.” Another video on the platform alleged Rachael “liked” a slew of racist Instagram posts, including one that featured the Confederate flag and another that showed a group of white women dressed as Mexican men. Then, photos started circulating of the contestant attending an “Old South” antebellum-themed fraternity party in 2018.
Weeks after the scandal broke, Rachael released an apology via Instagram on February 11. “While there have been rumors circulating, there have also been truths that have come to light that I need to address. I hear you, and I’m here to say I was wrong,” the contestant wrote. “At one point, 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 OK in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”
“I am sorry to the communities and individuals that my actions harmed and offended,” her statement continued. “I am ashamed about my lack of education, but it is no one’s responsibility to educate me. I am learning and will continue to learn how to be antiracist, because it’s important to speak up in the moment and not after you’re called out. If you are a person who doesn’t understand the offense in question, I urge you to learn from my mistakes and encourage you to use them as a teachable moment.”
Rachael concluded her lengthy post by saying she hopes she can “earn” the “forgiveness” of fans through her “future actions.”
The controversy had a major effect on Matt and Rachael’s relationship. Keep scrolling to see their full relationship timeline.
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