Katie Thurston Bravely Shares Her Story of a Nonconsensual Sexual Experience on 'The Bachelorette'
On Monday night’s episode of “The Bachelorette,” Katie Thurston bravely shared her story of a nonconsensual sexual experience.
The revelation came during a group date hosted by Nick Viall, during which Katie and the Season 21 Bachelor asked contestants to make themselves vulnerable and detail difficult moments from their lives that have since inspired personal growth.
“You guys have been great at being open and vulnerable, so I’m going to do the same,” Katie told her men. “And what I’m going to tell you, a lot of people actually don’t know, including my own mom. I know you see me today as this very sex-positive woman who’s very confident. She hasn’t always been here.”
She added, “Ten years ago, it was New Year’s Eve and I had been drinking and I was involved in a situation where there wasn’t consent. And that is not something I wish upon anybody.”
Katie said that she was “in denial about what happened, so much so that I tried to form a relationship with him because I didn’t want to believe what actually had happened.”
When that relationship “didn’t work out,” the franchise star explained that she developed a “very unhealthy relationship with sex.”
“I didn’t want to have sex, which affects a relationship. I didn’t like talking about sex,” she elaborated. “And it’s taken me a long time to get where I am now in being open and comfortable talking about it and loving myself and accepting things I can no longer control.”
Katie then emphasized how crucial consent is. “I just want you guys to know that I’ve come a long way [from] who I was 10 years ago,” she said. “And how important consent is, how important communication is, and how important it is to not guilt trip somebody for not having enough sex with them [or] guilt trip somebody for not having sex in general.”
Katie noted, “That is something really big that has happened in my life that, in some ways, has really shaped me into who exactly I am today. And, so, with you guys sharing your stories, I thought it was important to share mine as well.”
Later, in a confessional, the Washington native said that, for a long time after her nonconsensual sexual experience, she “felt responsible for being too drunk, too irresponsible, too stupid.”
But today, she feels a sense of relief by speaking her truth.
“It’s not my fault because consent is important and I did not give it that night,” she said. “I didn’t think I would go there today — but every single guy here has stepped up to the plate and really exceeded my expectations, truly. I feel like this weight has been lifted. I feel liberated. I just feel closer with them, with each and every one of them today. And I think it’s just going to help all of us going forward.”
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, help is available. For anonymous, confidential, free support 24/7, call @RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat at online at rainn.org.
“The Bachelorette” airs Mondays on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.