Colton Opened Up About Why Caelynn's 'Bachelor' Comments About Assault Are So Important

ABC/Rick Rowell

Amid all of the typical drama on The Bachelor, Colton Underwood's season has also featured some heavy moments. One of those came during Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Colton's one-on-one date, when she told him she had allegedly been raped in college. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on Monday, Feb. 11, Colton talked about why Caelynn's comments about assault are so important. And it's clear from his statements that he cares deeply about the contestant.

Caelynn's conversation with Colton where she revealed her alleged assault aired two weeks ago, in the show's "Week 4" episode. After a day of shopping with Colton in Singapore, Caelynn brought up the topic while the two of them were out at dinner. It was a surprisingly sensitive moment for The Bachelor, and fans watching at home praised Caelynn for being so open about her alleged assault, which she claimed occurred in college. In the THR interview, Colton praised Caelynn for how "brave" she was during the conversation. He told the magazine,

"For people to talk and to really share their experience is not an easy thing, so the fact that Caelynn could do that, and so eloquently, just shows how brave and how impressive she is as a woman... That moment was bigger than the show itself."

Colton went on to emphasize how important it is to listen to other people's stories. "For me, the takeaway, even after watching it back, is that we really need to spend more time listening and understanding what makes a person who they are," he told THR.

During her date with Colton, Caelynn said that when she was a college sophomore, she and her friends went to a house party where they were served drinks that had allegedly been drugged. "I woke up the next morning, and I was completely naked in my bed, and I had no memory of the night before," Caelynn told Colton. One of her friends told her that three of them had allegedly been sexually assaulted. According to her friend's account, other male students had allegedly "watched and laughed" as Caelynn's alleged assault took place.

Caelynn added that she went to the police and tried to take action against the alleged perpetrators. She claimed that a hospital illegally refused to perform a rape kit test on her, and by the time she got to a second hospital, too much time had passed to show conclusive results. As far as the alleged rapists, Caelynn claimed that one was expelled, while the other students "got away with it."

The Bachelor's assault conversation was incredibly personal, but it wasn't the first time Caelynn has talked about her past. Caelynn was Miss North Carolina 2018, and helping sexual assault survivors was part of her pageant platform. She previously shared her alleged assault story in a Miss USA video that was published last May. In that clip, Caelynn said that visiting college campuses and sharing her story had helped other survivors come forward, too.

As far as Colton's response goes, he also talked to The Hollywood Reporter about how to be sensitive while dating someone who'd been allegedly sexually assaulted. "I think it's really important that we continue to support women that are really encouraging and making a movement, and making waves in their own ways," he told THR.

Colton posted an Instagram message after the emotional Bachelor episode aired, urging fans to "be kind, respectful, and understanding to everyone involved." He also shared the phone number for RAINN, which provides support for sexual assault survivors.

Whether or not Caelynn gets the final rose this season, it's been moving to see how Colton has been super understanding and supportive of her. His words about listening to survivors are so important, and it's clear Colton has a ton of respect for Caelynn and what she's been through.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.