Ben Higgins, Nick Viall Deny Colton Underwood’s Claim About Support

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Not adding up. Ben Higgins and Nick Viall are calling Colton Underwood’s claims about how Bachelor Nation reacted when the season 23 Bachelor came out as gay into question.

The season 20 lead, 32, reacted to Us Weekly’s exclusive interview with Underwood, 29, on his and Ashley Iaconetti’s “Almost Famous” podcast. The Coming Out Colton star told Us earlier this month that former host Chris Harrison “was about the only one from the franchise who really reached out and sort of let me know that he was there for me, [asking] if there’s anything he can do.”

Higgins, meanwhile, begs to differ.

“Colton came out this week and said that nobody from Bachelor Nation reached out to him after coming out and that’s just not true. So, it kind of erupted my gut a little bit,” he said, noting he hasn’t watched the Netflix series yet. “I know of multiple people that did, including myself, including friends of mine that reached out to him. I don’t know why he’s saying that. I just don’t get it. … I mean, I sent him a book.”

Higgins explained that the book was written by a friend about how to navigate being a gay Christian. “I just don’t understand this stuff sometimes,” he continued. “Are you just trying to make everyone else look bad?”

The season 21 Bachelor, for his part took to his own podcast, “The Viall Files,” on Tuesday, December 14, and also called out the Netflix star’s claims.

“That’s just not true,” Viall, 41, said before finding the message he sent to Underwood. “April 14th, 7:30 a.m. — I don’t know if that’s the day of his Good Morning America appearance, but I believe it was. ‘Congrats, bud. Hope you’re in a happier place.’ With a heart. He hearted it immediately. So he saw it and then said, ‘Thank you, man. I’m doing so good and happy.’ I said, ‘Great to hear. Rooting for your happiness.’ He’s just a liar. … It’s weird when people lie about little things they don’t need to lie [about] for attention.”

Underwood came out as gay in April, several months after he was under fire for allegedly stalking and harassing his ex-girlfriend Cassie Randolph, who won his season of The Bachelor. She dropped the temporary restraining order filed against him in November 2020.

While the former football player has yet to respond to Higgins and Viall, he reached to the backlash surrounding his Netflix series on the Wednesday, December 15, episode of the “Call Her Daddy” podcast.

“I see the criticism. I know that people are upset that I have white privilege and I got a series after coming out,” he said. “And since coming out, I in no way, shape or form am trying to make people look the other way or forget about anything. I will own my mistakes and I will own who I was at that time in my life. … Me doing this show was never to flip the page or start a new chapter. It was for me to say and to show, like, ‘I f—ked up, I made mistakes.’”

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