Clearing the air. Olivia Caridi may be one of the most memorable contestants of Ben Higgins‘ season of The Bachelor, but she faced a very difficult time when the season aired.
“I watched the first episode then I trying to watch the second and I just couldn’t do it because I was just mortified and hurt,” the reality star, 27, revealed during the Monday, June 22, episode of The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever, after her elimination aired. “I realized, this is gonna be a really hard couple months.”
Although she shared that she “can laugh now” and is in a good place, the “Mouthing Off” podcast host still became emotional thinking about the dark times she went through after the show ended.
“There was so much pain associated with it,” she told host Chris Harrison. “Seeing what people really thought of me and what people were saying, that was really hard. … I’m sure a lot of it was deserved, but I did feel like some of it was a little ruthless. It affected me. It was, like, making fun of my physical attributes that I can’t change.”
During the dating show, contestants made fun of the journalist for her mouth and the size of her breasts. Caridi noted that after the show she “didn’t want to be out in public” and when she did go outside, people were whispering about her.
“I hate to hear this,” Harrison, 48, told her. “I truly am sorry that you had to go through this and that you did go through this.”
However, Caridi has no regrets. “The person I am now is so resilient,” she said. “I am proud of the person that I am today. I’m not ashamed anymore because I know that I am not that person.”
Later the former Bachelor, 31, joined Caridi to also apologize.
“I don’t know if you remember this Olivia, [but] my only request and my only hope was, if all else fails, everybody that participated in the experience left saying they’re glad they did it,” the season 20 lead said. “As I look back on that time, I think my lack of wisdom and maturity and standing up for you publicly, while I knew this was hard for you, I think the way that I navigated the confrontations and issues of the show, could have been better to help you. Mostly, I wanted to speak to you and say I’m sorry.”
The Bachelor: Winter Games alum then revealed he wanted to send a message to anyone out there who had a certain perspective of who Caridi is.
“This girl is a rockstar. She laid her heart on the line for love and she tried her best,” he said. “It didn’t come off perfectly all the time but none of us did.”
The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever! airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
Listen to Here For the Right Reasons to get inside scoop about the Bachelor franchise and exclusive interviews from contestants!
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