As fans know, episode 10 of Matt James‘ season of The Bachelor was emotional for a number of reasons. Most notably, the leading man’s estranged father, Manny James, made an appearance at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.
Throughout the season, Matt, 29, opened up to a number of contestants about his strained relationship with his father. So, it was clear the conversation was going to be difficult, at best. While the episode was airing, the North Carolina native took to social media to reflect on the situation. “Tonight’s convo with my dad was hard to experience, and it’s just as hard to watch all this time later, especially knowing the world is watching with me,” Matt tweeted on Monday, March 8.
“I just wanted to say that too often, we see dangerous stereotypes and negative depictions of Black fathers in media — and they have consequences when presented without context,” the ABC personality continued. “All I hope is that people watch that conversation with nuance, care and also understanding that there are real systemic issues at play. I’m so proud of myself for being vulnerable, and I’m so proud of my mother. I wouldn’t be who I am without my dad. That’s a fact.”
During the pair’s sit down, they addressed Manny cheating on Matt’s mother, Patty James, prior to their divorce. “My father was killed when I was 5, Matt. Do you know what I went through with your mom when you guys were like 2 or 3?” Manny recalled, referring to Matt and his older brother, John.
“I came home one day and your mom was gone. It wasn’t a good thing that I was cheating. I’m not proud of it,” he added. “I don’t want you to make excuses,” Matt replied. “I thank God that she had the courage to stand up for herself and do something because of the situation you put her in.”
Ultimately, they were able to end the conversation on a hopeful note. “I want to have a relationship with you going forward and in order to have that you have to understand where I’m at,” Matt explained. “It had to get to this point. Whatever I can do to make it better, I’ll work on it. I want you to be happy,” Manny assured. “I want you to have a relationship that’s healthy and not what I went through.”
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