The Bachelor star Matt James said that he plans to focus on himself after a jaw-dropping season of the dating show and his split from Rachael Kirkconnell.
The 29-year-old appeared on "The Bill Simmons Podcast" on Friday, March 19, to discuss his breakup from The Bachelor winner after photos of her at an antebellum-themed party in 2018 as well as controversial social media posts resurfaced during season 25.
"I don't think that anyone's irredeemable," James said of potentially reconciling with the 24-year-old in the future.
"And, I think that for Rachael, there's a lot that we didn't discuss that we probably should've talked about. I probably should've asked more clarifying questions. And I'm giving her that space to do that."
James found the photos "just like everybody else did," on social media, and it was "heartbreaking" when he learned that they were real.
"The tough thing is having to explain to America why those pictures are problematic to me," he said.
"You hear people harping on forgiveness and I forgave her when she told me. That doesn't mean I'm not disappointed and that I don't want her to do better.
"I'm just solely focused on getting back into that meaningful work in the community and centering myself around projects that are going to elevate all the work that I've been working on doing in the city and special interest things that I appreciate outside of reality television."
Of his time on The Bachelor, he admitted, "I'm so exhausted. I need to take a step back and take in everything and process what's been going on."
He also recently joked on Twitter that he was looking for a good therapist, OK! previously reported.
"Matt was contractually obliged to film the final show and make a few appearances on different programs following The Final Rose. But now that is done, Matt is ready to walk away from the whole toxic experience," a source exclusively told OK!. "Now he wishes he had never signed up to be the Bachelor. Matt never wanted to be the poster child for race relations or a social justice movement. He signed up to find love, not what is happening now."
James told Kirkconnell on the After The Final Rose special that he was the most disappointed by how he had to explain to her why the posts were problematic and why they upset him so much.
"When I questioned our relationship, it was in the context of you not fully understanding my Blackness and what it means to be a Black man in America. And what it would mean for our kids when I saw those things that were floating around the internet. And it broke my heart because this is the last conversation I thought we'd be having," he said.
Kirkconnell previously apologized for her "racist" and "offensive" actions and said she was going to use her platform to promote antiracism. After the show concluded, she shared that she believes James was the love of her life and respects his decision but wished the circumstances were different.