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Colton Underwood feels "relieved he can finally live his truth" now that he has come out as gay, a source close to the former Bachelor lead exclusively tells E! News.
The former football player opened up about his sexuality during an interview on Good Morning America on Wednesday, April 14, saying, "I'm gay and I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it." In the midst of his "journey" toward self-acceptance, Colton said, "I'm the happiest and healthiest I've ever been in my life."
He told his family at the beginning of the year, according to the source, and it seems they've been nothing but supportive.
"It was a very emotional moment but everyone has been completely understanding and supportive," the insider says. "It wasn't a complete shock. Colton started dropping hints to his friends a few months ago and then fully came out to people he felt comfortable with."
Many people close to Colton, 29, had a feeling about his sexuality months ago, so they "knew it was coming" in a way, the insider explains.
The source acknowledges that Colton "went through a very hard time" last year, in part due to "the drama" with his ex, Cassie Randolph, who filed a restraining order against him that she later dropped.
"He is relieved to be in a better place now. He did love Cassie but there was always something missing in his heart," according to the insider, who notes, "He is excited to start this new journey and wants a clean slate."
The source adds that Colton hopes that Cassie can forgive him for last year's "incidents," saying, "He is in a much better place now and is clear-headed."
After coming out on air, Colton apologized to Cassie and admitted, "I messed up" and "I made a lot of bad choices."
He said that when the show aired in 2019, he did feel he was in love with her.
"That only made it harder and more confusing for me," the reality star told host Robin Roberts. "If I'm being very honest, I loved everything about her and it's hard for me to articulate exactly what my emotions were in going through that relationship with her was because I obviously had an internal fight going on."
He added, "I'm sorry for any pain and emotional stress I caused. I wish it wouldn't have happened the way it did. I wish that I would have been courageous enough to fix myself before I broke anybody else."
E! News has reached out to his rep for comment.