Colton Underwood says he was blackmailed before coming out
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Former “Bachelor” star Colton Underwood says in a new interview that he was blackmailed by an anonymous person who claimed to have naked photos of him at a spa in Los Angeles before he publicly came out as gay.  

Underwood, who came out earlier this year in an emotional interview on “Good Morning America,” told Variety in an interview published Wednesday that, last year, he visited a spa that is known to cater to gay clientele.

Underwood said he was at the location “just to look” and added he “should have never been there.”

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He later received an anonymous email from someone who claimed to have taken a nude photo of him. 

The anonymous person allegedly threatened to tell press outlets that he is gay.

Underwood told Variety that the threat forced him to confide in his publicist and begin a conversation about coming out publicly.

“I, at one point, during my rock bottom and spiral, was getting blackmailed. Nobody knows I was blackmailed,” he said.

Underwood during the wide-ranging interview also addressed accusations from his pick from the “Bachelor” franchise, Cassie Randolph, who last year filed a restraining order against him over alleged stalking and harassment.

Randolph accused Underwood of installing a tracking device under her car, among other claims. She later dropped the restraining order.

The former NFL player has previously publicly apologized to Randolph, but in the interview with Variety he denied that he ever physically abused her.

“I did not physically touch or physically abuse Cassie in any way, shape or form,” he said. 

“I never want people to think that I’m coming out to change the narrative, or to brush over and not take responsibility for my actions, and now that I have this gay life that I don’t have to address my past as a straight man,” Underwood added. “Controlling situations to try to grasp at any part of the straight fantasy that I was trying to live out was so wrong.”

After he came out publicly, news broke that Underwood will be starring in a reality show on Netflix focusing on him living his life publicly as a gay man. Olympian Gus Kenworthy is also set to appear in the series, serving as a kind of gay guide for Underwood.

That news led to accusations that Underwood is monetizing his story of coming out and receiving the opportunity as a white, privileged member of the LGBTQ community.

The reality television star said his upcoming series will share a variety of LGBTQ stories and that Kenworthy "held me accountable."  

“He’s been somebody that I’ve not only learned so much from, but he’s held me accountable and he’s allowed me to see the privilege of being a straight-presenting gay, white man,” Underwood told Wariety. “He pointed out how my path has been, compared to other people.” 

Underwood during the interview with “Good Morning America” last month said that “I ran from myself for a long time” and that “I’ve hated myself for a long time, and I’m gay.” 

“I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it, and the next step in all of this was letting people know. I’m still nervous, but it’s been a journey for sure,” he said.