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Colton Underwood, Former Star Of ‘The Bachelor’, Says He’s Gay

Mr. Underwood at the Kids’ Choice Sports Awards in 2019.Credit…Richard Shotwell/Invision, via Richard Shotwell, via Invision, via Associated Press

Colton Underwood, a former star of US reality TV show “The Bachelor,” where the male lead dates several female contestants before proposing marriage to one of them, revealed Wednesday that he is gay.

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“I’ve ran from myself for a long time. I’ve hated myself for a long time,” 29-year-old Underwood told ABC’s Good Morning America program.

“And I’m gay. And I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it. And the next step in all of this was sort of letting people know,” added the former American football player.

In 2018, Underwood was a contestant on the 14th season of “The Bachelorette,” when he made it to the final four before being eliminated.

A few months later, it was his turn to be wooed, when organizers announced that he would be the lead in season 23 of “The Bachelor.”

Underwood said he had “regret” for accepting the role and said he could understand if some of the female contestants felt misled.

He told ABC that he became aware of his sexuality during adolescence but that while attending Catholic school he “learned in the Bible that gay is a sin.”

Later, as an athlete he remembered people using the word “gay” as a term that held “a connotation of negativity,” he added.

Underwood said he had experienced “suicidal thoughts” before he decided to “take back control” of his life.

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Underwood was a former professional football player. He played at Illinois State and was signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2014, and was on the practice squad of the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles.

After being released by the Raiders, Underwood became a contestant on the 14th season of The Bachelorette, and was then announced as the lead of the 23rd season of The Bachelor.

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