Are Matt James & Rachael Kirkconnell Back Together? Bachelor Seen With Controversial Contestant In NYC Following Public Breakup
While Matt James didn't give Bachelor winner Rachael Kirkconnell a diamond ring during the finale and refused to give her a hug on the After the Final Rose special, it looks like he's willing to give her another chance at a relationship!
The former flames have allegedly been seeing each after their scandalous public break up — which came about after racially charged photos posted by Kirkconnell resurfaced online while season 25 was still airing.
The duo was seen together in New York City, according to Reality Steve, who tweeted: "It’s been a while but here’s some news: Matt and Rachael? Yeah, they’re not over," adding: "They’re currently in New York together. FYI."
Deuxmoi — a popular blind items Instagram account about celebrities — backed up Reality Steve's statement, sharing photos sent by a fan that claim the reality stars were out together in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Tuesday, April 6.
In the snaps, the pair appearing to be James, 29, and Kirkconnell, 24, were walking away from the cameras, and their faces were not visible.
While James and Kirkconnell left the Bachelor season together, the handsome hunk called off their relationship after racially insensitive photos of the brunette beauty at an Antebellum-themed party in 2018 resurfaced online.
Kirkconnell issued an apology for her actions, but it wasn't enough to save her relationship with the first Black male lead.
While speaking to Emmanuel Acho — who took over as temporary host after Chris Harrison stepped down following his defense of Kirkconnell following the photo incident — on the After The Final Rose special, James said before his ex spoke or addressed anything in regards to the scandal. He said he was just "trying to be there for her" and "dismissed" the accusations as "rumors" because that's what they were to him at the time.
However, after he found out the rumors were true, "it just makes you question everything," James continued, adding that Kirkconnell's public apology made him really "check himself" and process what was happening.
"It was in that moment and the conversation that I had that [I realized that] Rachael might not understand what it means to be Black in America," James recalled.
"If you don’t understand that something like that is problematic in 2018, there's a lot of me that you won’t understand," James told Kirkconnell during their incredibly awkward reunion special.
Shortly after James called it off with Kirkconnell, she shared on Instagram that she was having a tough time with their breakup. "I truly believe he was the love of my life. he will always hold a piece of my heart," she confessed.
Meanwhile, James has been focusing on himself. One day after the Bachelor finale and special aired on Monday, March 15, James admitted that he was looking for a therapist.
However, he hasn't shut the door on the idea of reconciling with his controversial former flame.
"I don’t think that anyone’s irredeemable,” he said on the March 19 episode of "The Bill Simmons Podcast."
“And I think that for Rachael, there’s a lot that we didn’t discuss that we probably should’ve talked about," he candidly added. "I probably should’ve asked more clarifying questions. And I’m giving her that space to do that.”