Entertainment

‘Bachelor’ Matt James, Rachael Kirkconnell not back together

'Bachelor' Matt James, Rachael Kirkconnell not back together

“Bachelor” Matt James and ex-girlfriend Rachael Kirkconnell’s recent reunion was just an outing between friends.

“Matt and Rachael are not back together,” a source close to James told Page Six. “They are working on building a friendship outside of the show and away from the noise. The past few months have been extremely difficult for Matt.

The source added, “He is not ready to throw himself into a relationship right now.”

Earlier this week, rumors circulated that James, 29, and Kirkconnell — the controversial winner of his historic “Bachelor” season — were back on.

On Tuesday, photos of the pair appeared in an Instagram Story by Deuxmoi, an account that regularly features blind items. Both James and Kirkconnell, 24, had their backs turned away from the cameras while strolling through Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

“Bachelor” blogger Reality Steve later cryptically tweeted that the former couple’s story was “not over” yet.

James gave Kirkconnell the final rose in the March season finale of "The Bachelor."
James gave Kirkconnell the final rose in the March season finale of “The Bachelor.”
Instagram

The first black “Bachelor” in franchise history, James’ journey concluded last month when the commercial real estate broker gave his final rose to Kirkconnell, a Georgia-bred graphic designer.

Leading up to the March 15 season finale, however, allegations of Kirkconnell’s racially insensitive behavior on social media came to light, in addition to photos of her attending an antebellum-themed party in college.

In February, Kirkconnell spoke out amid the backlash, writing on Instagram: “At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”

A month later, James confirmed on “The Bachelor: After the Final Rose” that he and Kirkconnell were no longer together.

Kirkconnell and James during a one-on-one date on "The Bachelor."
Kirkconnell and James during a one-on-one date on “The Bachelor.”
ABC

“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 host Emmanuel Acho as the former NFL player, 30, filled in for Chris Harrison, who stepped aside following his controversial defense of Kirkconnell. “I stepped back and let her do the work she’s committed to doing.”

Kirkconnell, for her part, called James “the love of my life” in an Instagram post shared after the headline-making finale.

“While i never expected this outcome, i respect his decision completely. of course i wish circumstances were different, but i still feel blessed for the time we did have together and the memories we made,” she wrote in March.

James has since stated that he’s done dating and instead “working on” himself.

About the author

Francis Peters

Francis is a sports enthusiast who loves indulging in occasional baseball matches. He is a passionate journalist who flaunts a perfect hold over the English language. He currently caters his skills for the MLB & NBA section of Sports Grind Entertainment.

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