The Bachelorette star Katie Thurston has revealed that she was sexually assaulted ten years ago, while opening up about her past during a group date on Monday night’s episode of the hit ABC series.
Katie, 30, who did not name her attacker, shared that the assault took place on New Year’s Eve a decade ago, recalling: ‘I had been drinking, and I was involved in a situation where there wasn’t consent.’
She confessed that she was ‘in denial’ about the incident for years – revealing that she even tried to ‘form a relationship’ with her attacker ‘because she didn’t want to believe what had actually happened’.
‘That is something that I do not wish on anybody,’ she said. ‘I was in denial about what happened so much so that I tried to have a relationship with him because I didn’t want to believe what just happened.’
However, after her attempts to connect with the unnamed man ‘didn’t work out’, Katie spent years struggling to come to terms with the trauma, revealing to the Bachelorette’s male contestants that ‘she had a very unhealthy relationship with sex’ as a result of the horrific experience.
‘I didn’t want to have sex, which affects the relationship. I didn’t like talking about sex,’ Katie, who is from Washington, explained.
Group date: Katie Thurston revealed during a group date that she had been sexually assaulted by a man without her consent on Monday’s episode of The Bachelorette
‘And it’s taken me a long time to get to where I am now in being open and comfortable talking about it and loving myself and accepting things that I can no longer control.’
She added: ‘I have come a long way with who I was 10 years ago. And I just want you guys to know how important consent is and how important communication is…’
Candid gathering: The 30-year-old series star said she had never revealed that fact about the assault, even to her own mother, but in a group date where the men were sharing their deepest darkest secrets she felt she had to as well
In a confessional, Katie said that for a long time she felt responsible for being ‘too drunk, too irresponsible, too stupid but it is not my fault because consent is important and I didn’t give it that night.’
Katie said she didn’t think she would share it, but was motivated after every single guy shared their secrets with her.
‘I feel liberated,’ Katie said.
No consent: In a confessional, Katie said that for a long time she felt responsible for being ‘too drunk, too irresponsible, too stupid but it is not my fault because consent is important and I didn’t give it that night’
She was helped out during the episode by former The Bachelor star Nick Viall, 40, who served as the leader for the group date sharing experience.
Aaron, 26, an insurance agent from San Diego; Quartney, 26, a nutrition entrepreneur from Dallas; James, 30, a software salesman from La Jolla, Calif.; Connor B, 29, a math teacher from Nashville; David, 27, a technical product specialist from Nashville; Justin, 26, an investment sales consultant from Baltimore; Thomas, 28, a real estate broker; Hunter and Brendan were called for the group date.
Nick was waiting for them in a dark room and had them sit in a circle of chairs.
He’s back: Katie was helped out during the episode by former The Bachelor star Nick Viall, 40, who served as the leader for the group date sharing experience
He told them that he had been in Katie’s position and that her biggest fear was not knowing about her potential suitors history.
Katie sat by Nick’s side to hear what the men had to say.
‘We all have a past and we all make mistakes and no one’s perfect,’ Katie told the men.
Circle seating: The men sat in a circle around Katie and Nick
Nick called on each of the men to share their past and started by calling on Hunter, who said he had already developed significant feelings for Katie.
Hunter said he needed to tell Katie that he had been married before and had a little girl and that he ‘destroyed that relationship.’
He cried as he told her that he failed at marriage.
Sharing session: Nick called on each of the men to share their past and started by calling on Hunter, who said he had already developed significant feelings for Katie
‘I never imagined a divorce for myself,’ Hunter told her.
Then Aaron shared that at one point in his life he met a girl after his dad died but that he ‘wasn’t the person I wanted to be.’ David shared that during one relationship that he had to make the decision between ‘love and his career’ and he worried whether he made the wrong decision. Quartney said he made a mistake and learned how important trust is in a relationship.
Katie said later in a confessional that the group date brought them all closer.
Franchise fixture: Nick has become a fixture on Bachelor shows since 2014
Thomas said he couldn’t look her in the face and tell her when he got there that he was there for the right reasons.
He admitted he thought he would give it a shot and that he could build a great platform from it.
‘I can sit here and tell you the best thing I could do was to lean into the potential because the feelings I have for you are real,’ he said.
Seven years: Katie teamed up with Nick who first surfaced on the franchise way back in 2014 on The Bachelorette starring Andi Dorfman
He then started listing his ‘red flags’ about how he went on a date the week before he came on the show.
Nick then called on Connor B. He said he originally wanted to share this story in private and shared a story ‘where he was not the good guy.’
He said there was a time in his life when he was 24 or 25 and he dropped out of grad school and started working as a musician in a piano bar where he drank for free.
Giving advice: Katie leaned on Nick who has been in her shoes before
Connor said he would get black out drunk and get ‘angrier and angrier.’ He said one night he got really drunk, got into a fight with his girlfriend, went to a party and cheated on her with someone else.
‘I ended up blowing up my entire life in like one day’ Connor said as he cried.
He said he carried a lot of guilt about what happened.
Getting emotional: ‘I ended up blowing up my entire life in like one day’ Connor said as he cried
‘I used that to become a better man,’ he said.
Meanwhile back at the house Michael A., 36, a business owner from Akron told a few of the other men including Mike P that he hadn’t had the chance yet to tell Katie that he was a single father.
He told them that he had been married for 16 years but that seven months after she delivered their child that she was diagnosed with breast cancer and she died two years ago.
Living together: Tensions in the house continued to rise among the guys
That night, Katie thanked the men for a ‘transformative’ group meeting at the evening’s cocktail party.
Justin said he wanted to check in with Katie but she told him she felt really good and ‘liberated.’ Later they hugged and kissed.
Connor thanked Katie for sharing her story with her and she told that ‘felt a growth’ while sharing her pain and ‘felt relief ‘ after sharing her story with the group. Katie told Connor she thought he was a catch and then he reached over and kissed her.
Katie asked Thomas about what other red flags she needed to know about him. When Thomas was back talking with Katie, the men questioned his intentions. Thomas told her that his intention was to get married with Katie, but never answered her questions about what his other red flags were.
Red flags: Katie asked Thomas about what other red flags she needed to know about him
In his confessional, Thomas said his nerves got the best of him with his meeting with Katie. He said she was asking probing questions, but didn’t answer them.
Thomas was determined to fix things and when Katie was talking with Aaron, Thomas walked back and lingered in the background.
Aaron eventually gave up his time and walked away and Katie told Thomas, ‘I’m surprised to see you again.’
Not happy: Aaron eventually gave up his time and walked away and Katie told Thomas ‘I’m surprised to see you again’
Thomas told Katie how special his feelings for Katie were.
‘I feel an energy that is such a strong pull to you and I need you to know that,’ Thomas said.
Katie told him she was happy he was here and then they kissed.
Series star: Katie competed on the last season of The Bachelor before she became The Bachelorette
Back at the table, the men were mad that Thomas interrupted Aaron’s time.
When Thomas returned to the group, Aaron told him that what he did was ‘super disrespectful.’
Thomas told them that he told Katie that he was falling in love with her and Aaron told him that he thought he ‘was full of s***.’
Super rude: When Thomas returned to the group, Aaron told him that what he did was ‘super disrespectful’
Some of the other men were mad that they didn’t get any time with Katie.
Aaron said in a confessional that he thought Thomas ‘was a cancer that needed to be cut out.’
In the end, Katie gave the rose to Connor.
In his confessional, Connor said that ‘every moment with her leaves me wanting another moment with her.’
Rose recipient: In his confessional, Connor said that ‘every moment with her leaves me wanting another moment with her’
The episode began right after the second cocktail party where Karl, 34, a motivational speaker from Miami, put all the men in the house ‘on blast’ after telling Katie that he thought there were multiple people in the house ‘not here for the right reason.’
Katie was still reeling from his comments in a side room while the men in the house insisted that Karl tell them who he was talking about and why.
Justin said in a confessional that Karl’s comment not only upset Katie but also affected everyone’s ability to get time with Katie that night.
On blast: The episode began right after the second cocktail party where Karl, 34, a motivational speaker from Miami, put all the men in the house ‘on blast’ after telling Katie that he thought there were multiple people in the house ‘not here for the right reason’
Katie then stormed in and thanked the men for her time tonight and said she was just going to go straight to the rose ceremony.
‘That being said I will just see you all later,’ Katie said before she walked off.
Greg, 27, a marketing sales representative from New Jersey, went back to check on her. Kaitlyn told him that it meant a lot to her that he did, but that she just wasn’t confident with what was happening in the house.
Checking in: Greg, 27, a marketing sales representative from New Jersey, went back to check on her
As the men continued to question Karl, he walked off.
The men still sat around after Karl walked out and discussed how he ruined the cocktail party.
Karl in another room started practicing air boxing and said, in a confessional, that he didn’t care because ‘I’m not here for these dudes.’ He said that the ones that are coming out ‘yelling and shouting and all this stuff, they are usually the ones that have the most to hide.’
Getting closer: Michael also enjoyed some solid time with Katie
Mike P, 31, a gym owner from San Diego, said the men had a ‘responsibility as a unit right now to protect the queen.’ Brendan, 26, a firefighter trainee from Canada said in a confessional that no one at this point trusted Karl while adding that ‘he is a stink, he’s a scumbag.’
The men then gathered for a rose ceremony.
‘Tonight I am going to put it here bluntly,’ Katie said. ‘I’m here to find my husband and I’m here to fall in love and that is what I am hoping all of you are here for.’
Speaking bluntly: ‘Tonight I am going to put it here bluntly,’ Katie said. ‘I’m here to find my husband and I’m here to fall in love and that is what I am hoping all of you are here for’
Katie said that she appreciated the honesty that she had been given but that she was still very confused.
During the rose ceremony, after Mike P received his rose and hugged Katie he stood back and said ‘we feel as a unit that it is our job to protect your heart. We have come together and we think that unfortunately what Karl said wasn’t the truth. And as a unit that is what we think you really need to hear.’
Katie then asked if they all felt the same way and then left the room and consulted with Tayshia Adams , 30, and Kaitlyn Bristowe, 36.
She told them that the group felt as a house that Karl needed to go home. She said originally she planned to keep Karl that night and now didn’t know what she had to do.
Kaitlyn told her it was ‘her decision right now.’
In the end Katie did not give Karl a rose and he was one of the men who was sent home.
Speaking up: During the rose ceremony, after Mike P received his rose and hugged Katie he stood back and said ‘we feel as a unit that it is our job to protect your heart. We have come together and we think that unfortunately what Karl said wasn’t the truth. And as a unit that is what we think you really need to hear’
‘Katie has once again for the second night in a row cleaned house and that’s my girl,’ said Hunter.
Mike P said after the ceremony that he was ‘super excited’ and just wanted more time with her.
Michael A received the next one on one date.
No rose: Karl was eliminated as he failed to receive a rose
Katie picked up Michael for an adventure and drove out in a dune buggy to meet him and flipped it.
A medic checked on her before she continued on her off-road adventure with Michael.
After the ride, the two stopped in an open field for a break.
Flipped it: Katie picked up Michael for an adventure and drove out in a dune buggy to meet him and flipped it
Scary moment: The reality star was shown while her vehicle flipped
Katie told him that earlier in the day when she was practicing that she flipped the dune buggy. Michael told her there was something strangely familiar about her and that ‘I think you are special.’
Katie said that she knew it was a sacrifice for him to be here as a dad. Michael said he thinks about his son all the time but that he deserves the happiest dad.
Michael said he always heard that ‘this ends at an engagement’ but he believed that it begins at the engagement.
Good times: Michael told her there was something strangely familiar about her and that ‘I think you are special’
‘My life is better right now because of you,’ he said before the two kissed.
Michael said in a confessional that he came here to see if he could love again and that he could see that with Katie.
Katie also said in her confessional that she thought Michaels intentions were pure.
Pure intentions: Katie also said in her confessional that she thought Michaels intentions were pure.
‘There is so much to explore with his life and his family and I just hope that the chemistry we have can continue,’ Katie said.
Michael then shared with Katie about how he met his wife 16 years ago and fell in love. He said his life was perfect but that seven months after their first son was born his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.
He cried as he told when his wife’s hair started to fall out because of chemotherapy . He said they traveled the country trying to find a cure, but that in January 2019 that she passed away.
Making out: The one-on-one date included a kissing session
He cried when he told her he was ready to open up his heart again and said ‘what a gift to be able to fall in love twice.’
Katie said she was happy that he was here with her and cried later in her confessional about Michael’s sweet comments. At the end of the night, she presented Michael with a rose. The two climbed up to a roof top after their intimate dinner to look at the stars together and they made out.
Back at the house, Aaron was still raging about Thomas to the rest of the men. Hunter tried to talk to Thomas about being accountable for his behavior. He said that he thought Thomas was a sociopath. The other men agreed and thought he was a liar. Hunter said in a confessional that Thomas’s reputation was crumbling in the house and that he was going to call him out before the group date.
Date rose: At the end of the night, she presented Michael with a rose
The men gathered together in the living room.
Hunter said in front of everyone that Thomas’ behavior seemed ‘fraudulent’ and it seemed like he wanted to be the next bachelor.
‘Has that crossed your mind,’ asked Hunter, who said he didn’t want Katie to get her heart broken.
Happy guy: Michael was thrilled to receive a rose from Katie
Thomas admitted that one of his thought coming onto the show was being the next bachelor and Hunter said that was ‘messed up’.
The idea of becoming the next star of The Bachlor was no longer on his mind, Thomas said, but the men didn’t appear to believe him.
Hunter said in his confessional that he worried Thomas would end up derailing the whole show.
The Bachelorette will return next week on ABC.
Show stopper: Hunter said in his confessional that he worried Thomas would end up derailing the whole show