Colton Underwood has admitted that he abused Xanax while struggling to suppress his sexuality, saying he ‘hit rock bottom’ and took ‘a lot’ of pills hoping he wouldn’t ‘wake up.’
The former Bachelor star, 29, publicly came out as gay in April during an interview with Good Morning America after spending three seasons on the ABC dating franchise looking for the perfect woman.
In his new Netflix docuseries, Coming Out Colton, which premieres on Friday, he opens up about how he used Xanax — a prescription drug used to treat anxiety disorders — as a coping mechanism during his darkest days.
‘I was suppressing my sexuality so hard that I was taking medication daily to deal with depression and anxiety, and that made me a paranoid freak,’ Underwood explains on the show, the New York Post reports.
Looking back: Colton Underwood, 29, opens up about how he used Xanax as a coping mechanism in his new Netflix docuseries, Coming Out Colton, which premieres on Friday
Hard to handle: ‘I was suppressing my sexuality so hard that I was taking medication daily to deal with depression and anxiety, and that made me a paranoid freak,’ he explains on the show
‘I didn’t trust a whole lot of people, and I was trying to do anything and everything I could to protect a secret.’
During an on-camera conversation with his close friend Kassidy, the reality star breaks down in tears while recalling how he attempted suicide after his split from Cassie Randolph in early 2020.
He says he ‘hit rock bottom’ one night and ‘took a lot of Xanax’ hoping he wouldn’t ‘wake up the next morning.’
Underwood met Randolph, 26, on his season of The Bachelor, and they dated from November 2018 until May 2020. She later filed a restraining order against him, accusing him of stalking her and putting a tracking device on her car. The order was dropped two months later.
‘I started to spiral,’ he explains as headlines about his ex’s restraining order against film flash on the screen. ‘I was f**ked up. … I lost my mind, and I did some things, I said some things that I’m not proud of.’
Underwood quickly adds that he’s not ‘making excuses’ for how he treated Randolph, saying: ‘I did f**k up. I made mistakes, and I will take ownership in that.’
The six-part docuseries follows the former football player as he comes out to his to his family members and friends while grappling with the fallout from his relationship with Randolph.
Reflection: During an on-camera conversation with his friend Kassidy (not pictured), the reality star recalls how he attempted suicide after his split from Cassie Randolph in early 2020
Messy split: Underwood met Randolph on The Bachelor, and they dated from November 2018 until May 2020. She later filed a restraining order against him, accusing him of stalking her
In the trailer, he reflects on their messy breakup, admitting that he is horrified by the way he treated her while trying to keep his sexuality a secret.
‘The reason I’m coming out is because I’m ashamed and I’m sort of mortified of what got me in this position in the first place,’ he says. ‘I put a poor girl through hell [because] of my own insecurities. I was starting to hurt other people outside of just myself.
‘I backed myself into a corner running from who I am. I only have one life, something’s got to change.’
In a new interview with People, Underwood stressed that he ‘can’t apologize enough to Cassie and her family,’ once again explaining that he was a ‘miserable human’ and ‘not in a good place mentally after the breakup.’
He admitted that he thought Randolph could make him ‘straight,’ which is why he had such a difficult time accepting their split.
‘It was such a confusing time,’ he said. ‘I knew I was struggling with my sexuality, but at the same time, I fell in love with a woman. That led me to spiral after the breakup because I thought I’d found someone who could make me straight. And I didn’t want to let it go.’
Underwood hasn’t spoken to Randolph following their breakup, and she has yet to directly address him coming out as gay. She has since moved on with her new boyfriend, singer Brighton Reinhardt.
Scary: The former football player explains that he ‘hit rock bottom’ after the split and ‘took a lot of Xanax’ hoping he wouldn’t ‘wake up the next morning’
Owning it: Underwood says he ‘started to spiral’ after the breakup and did things he’s ‘not proud of,’ but insists he’s not ‘making excuses’ for how he treated Randolph
‘I’d love to clear up anything that I can with her, but I also understand if she never wants to talk to me again. I understand,’ he says. ‘And I’m not running from anything.’
Underwood told the New York Times that through the show, he hopes to make amends for what he did to Randolph and also for going on The Bachelor in a failed attempt to ‘bury being gay.’
‘I’ve lived my life so publicly straight, and I ran from a community I’ve belonged to my entire life,’ he explained.
‘I knew there was going to be a lot of people who didn’t understand. Maybe at the end of these six episodes, people still don’t understand. But at least I’ve tried to undo the wrongs.
‘It’s more sad than anything else that I was ever even in a position to say the things I said to her or do the things I did.’
Some critics slammed Underwood’s participation in the show and accused him of trying to ‘monetize his coming out’ in it, but producer Jeff Jenkins insisted that definitely wasn’t the point of the series.
‘We saw the positive of him sharing his story,’ he told the New York Times. ‘He already has fame and — not to speak out of turn — but this documentary is not going to make him rich.’
Announcement: Underwood publicly came out as gay in April during an interview with Good Morning America after spending looking for the perfect woman on The Bachelor franchise
Apology: At the time, he apologized to the women he dated and ‘misled’ over the years, as well as the viewers, who were ‘cheering him on and wanting him to find love’
His mom, Donna Burkard, added that through the series, she wants to help other families that are going through something similar.
‘We decided if we could help a single family, and hopefully multiple families, by showing the love and support that I believe I displayed, other gay men and women in hiding could see a flicker of hope that their parents are going to respond with open arms,’ she said.
As for his dad, Scott Underwood, he admitted that he was not happy Underwood came out on national television and hinted that he did have anterior motives.
‘I’m not saying I’m upset about it, but I would have preferred it had been done differently,’ he reflected, adding that his son is ‘an entertainer’ and that ‘that’s what he’s chosen to do for his career.’
‘Am I going to say it’s for fame? No. Did he come out on TV for money? Sure. But who in reality entertainment doesn’t leverage their life and put it all out there for money?’ he continued.
When Underwood first came out last spring, he revealed that the forced isolation during the coronavirus pandemic made him finally ‘look at himself in the mirror’ and come to terms with his sexuality.
‘Obviously this year’s been a lot for a lot of people and it’s probably made a lot of people look themselves in the mirror and figure out who they are and what they’ve been running from or putting off in their lives and for me, I’ve ran from myself for a long time,’ he explained on GMA. ‘I’ve hated myself for a long time.’
Coming out: Underwood’s six-part docuseries follows him as he comes out to his to his family members and friends while grappling with the fallout from his relationship with Randolph
Finding himself: Underwood is now dating political strategist Jordan C. Brown, whom he said he’s ‘very happy and very in love’ with
He said that he thought being chosen for The Bachelor was a sign that God was ‘making him straight.’
‘I literally remember praying to God the morning I found out that I was a Bachelor and thanking him for making me straight,’ he recalled.
‘I remember that vividly, saying, like, “Finally you’re letting me be straight. Finally you’re giving me a wife, a fiancée and then I’m going to have the kids then I’m going to have the house and have all this.”‘
Underwood also opened up about how his Catholic upbringing made him suppress his sexuality for years, admitting that he ‘knew he was different since the age of six.’
He realized he was gay when he was a freshman in high school but felt he had to suppress his sexuality because he’d always been taught it was ‘a sin.’
‘I was a freshman in high school when I knew I was gay and by that time I had already grown up in the Catholic church, I [had] gone to Catholic grade school, [and] I had learned in the Bible that [being] gay is a sin,’ he said.
Underwood noted that he was always made to feel that being gay was bad because the label was used to criticize things by many of his football teammates growing up.
‘I had made mistakes in my sports and my athletic career and when you make mistakes, that play was “gay” — or gay was always affiliated with a connotation of negativity,’ he said, ‘and I think there’s a lot of things when I look back I’m like no wonder I held it in.’
Now, Colton is dating political strategist Jordan C. Brown, whom he said he’s ‘very happy and very in love’ with.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 160 crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 1-800-273-8255.
It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.