The Bachelorette and The Bachelor are presented as light, escapist entertainment. But that glossy veneer often hides behind the scenes controversies and uncomfortable revelations. Sure, some of the wild scandals from The Bachelor are filmed for our viewing pleasure, but oftentimes the real drama goes down when the cameras aren’t rolling. Consider contestant Rozlyn Papa, who had an affair with a producer, or the case of Lincoln Adim, who was convicted of indecent assault and battery while his season was still airing.
With the rise of social media, Bachelor scandals multiply at alarming rates. The contestants’ Instagram and Twitter feeds are on display for the world to analyze, and fans of the show are proving to be modern-day sleuths, uncovering scandal after scandal with a little help from social networks and Google searches.
In fact, Becca’s 2018 season of The Bachelorette blew up with bona-fide bombshells dropped by one unexpected source: former Bachelor hopeful Ashley Spivey. As a moderator on a Bachelor-themed Reddit thread, Spivey was privy to some inside information about contestants Garrett Yrigoyen and Lincoln Adim, and wasted no time revealing their questionable actions to the public.
'Bachelor In Paradise' Season 5: Jenna Was Accused Of Having An Affair
As Jordan Kimball and his fiancée Jenna Cooper were in the beginning phases of planning their wedding in September 2018, a story broke on blog Reality Steve alleging that Cooper was in a relationship with another man. The blog post featured screenshots of text conversations between Cooper and the supposed other man, whose identity was not disclosed.
Cooper denied the allegations in People, saying, "I am aware of the allegations being made against me and they are simply untrue. I am choosing to focus on my relationship right now. Thank you for respecting my privacy at this time."
According to People, Kimball was completely caught off guard. "It felt like a body drop," he told the magazine. He spoke candidly of his hesitation to believe Cooper's denial:
I know my Jenna, and I read those texts and in my heart, I know it's her... she was saying she didn't do it, but hinting towards the fact that there's a possibility it happened. In all reality, I don't expect her to own it... I would never have expected this. I feel sick about it. I just don't understand why someone would say that they're better than me and have ill intentions. If this whole thing sitcks, and it's true, I will be hurt much more than the depths of romance. I will be hurt as a person and as a friend. There are so many layers to a relationship and right now I feel all of them peeling back.
Kimball is apparently still on the fence as to whether or not he and Cooper are still an item. "I don't even know what piece to pick up or how to put it back," he said.
Becca's Season: Leo Was Accused Of Sexual Harassment
On August 2, 2018, Bekah Martinez (Arie's Season) accused Bachelorette contestant Leandro "Leo" Dottavio (Becca's Season) of sexual harassment. Martinez posted screenshots on her Instagram story from women who DM'd her details about Deottavio's alleged harassment. The direct messages from the accusers included everything from unsolicited genital photos and messages saying, "you need my big d*ck." Some of the comments were posted as far back as 2014.
Martinez has never met Dottavio in real life. She told New York Post that she didn't feel bad posting the accusations.
"It's not a coincidence that multiple women would be saying similar things about the same person. There's no way these women happen to be lying about the same thing before seeing what other women are saying," Martinez said.
The day after the allegations, Dottavio denied the claims with an Instagram story. "I want to start by saying no one has ever accused me of sexual harassment. No one has ever come to me in any way and told me I made them feel uncomfortable." He then admitted he is "not a perfect person nor have I ever claimed to be."
Becca's Season: Lincoln Was Convicted Of Indecent Assault And Battery
In 2016, Lincoln Adim was accused of indecent assault and battery when he attacked and groped a woman on a cruise ship. Fast forward to 2018, when he appeared as a contestant on The Bachelorette. Bachelorette Becca Kufrin, producers, and #BachelorNation were none the wiser until former Bachelor hopeful Ashley Spivey was tipped off to Adim's recent conviction and sentencing, and teamed up with blogger Reality Steve to make the matter public.
Even though the incident took place in 2016, Adim wasn't convicted of indecent assault and battery until May 2018 – well into the airing of his season of The Bachelorette. The judge ordered him to a year-long stay in a correctional facility, to be postponed for a two-year probationary period. By law, he also needs to register as a sex offender.
How did a sex offender end up on The Bachelorette? Warner Bros. issued a statement:
No one on The Bachelorette production had any knowledge about the incident or charges when Lincoln Adim was cast, and he himself denied ever having engaged in or having been charged with any sexual misconduct. We employ a well-respected and highly experienced third party who has done thousands of background checks consistent with industry standards to do a nationwide background check in this case. The report we received did not reference any incident or charge relating to the recent conviction — or any other charges relating to sexual misconduct. We are currently investigating why the report did not contain this information, which we will share when we have it.
Chris's Season: Chris Was Arrested After A Fatal Car Accident
Bachelor Chris Soules had a rough time after filming wrapped on his 2015 season of The Bachelor. Even though he got engaged to Whitney Bischoff on the final episode, it didn't take long for his life to start falling apart. Soules joined the next season of Dancing with the Stars, where he didn't exactly excel, and called things off with Bischoff shortly thereafter. Then, in April 2017, he was involved in a traffic collision in his home state of Iowa that left a man dead.
While driving home one night, Soules rear-ended a tractor trailer. He reportedly called 911 and gave the other driver CPR, and waited until paramedics arrived. The man later died at the hospital. Soules was charged with fleeing the scene of a fatal car crash, and though his legal team attempted to get the charges overturned, his case is set to go to trial in November 2018.