Setting the record straight! Bachelorette star Michelle Young shut down rumors that she had a boyfriend pre-show after hearing that there was “a lot of conversation” about it among her season 18 contestants. 

Part of the rumors surrounded contestant Joe Coleman, who was an acquaintance of Michelle, 28, after the pair briefly met via Instagram. The leading lady wanted to clarify that nothing further happened with the former Mr. Basketball, 28.

Michelle Young Reacts to Boyfriend Rumors Pre-Bachelorette
ABC/Craig Sjodin

“I was made aware that there was a lot of conversation in the house about whether or not Joe and I knew each other before,” the former college athlete explained to her group of guys. “What I want you guys to know is that, that first night when all of y’all walked in was the first night that I was meeting every single one of you for the first time. Joe and I exchanged a few messages quite a few years back. … We kind of joke about it now, but Joe ghosted me after two messages and that was that.”

After addressing the situation with Joe, Michelle then brought up speculation that she was “spotted” with a “light-skinned basketball dude” before her season began filming. 

“Being a woman of color, you know, in Minnesota, any time I’m with a man of color, we’re a couple, that’s what everyone sees it as,” the teacher said. “I can have a romantic dinner with a white guy in a restaurant and nobody would say, ‘Oh, they’re a couple.’ But because it’s another Black man, we’re supposed to be together. And it’s frustrating because I’m open to all of you. What I want to do for you guys is I want to open it up for questions.”

The men appreciated her candid and open response to the brewing drama. However, most of them were surprised that she even addressed the rumors at all, considering Jamie Skaar seemed to be the only contestant who was raising a fuss about the situation. This led the rest of the guys to wonder about who spilled the beans to Michelle about the conversations around the house. 

“I don’t know who conjured this up, but I feel like this person will make some kind of other mistake and will eventually be exposed,” contestant Romeo Alexander said. “What’s still a big question mark in everyone’s mind is, who spoke to Michelle?” 

If you can’t wait to see how Michelle’s season ends, click here for spoilers.