In a lengthy Instagram post ahead of “Pilot Pete’s” season premiere Monday night, the former contestant and Bachelorette threw some shade at “one person” from Bachelor Nation — but reminded fans of the show to watch with kindness, as she recalled some of the hard moments she experienced on the show.
“I always question watching every season due to a little PTSD, overwhelming emotions, and knowing a little too much,” Bristowe, 34, wrote alongside a throwback photo of her first headshot when she competed on Chris Soules‘ 2015 season.
“But I just always want to support the people going through this ‘journey.’ So while I have bitter feelings towards one person (not a contestant), out of hundreds, I will choose to love the hundreds of others who changed my life,” she added. “I will try to remember the positive experiences.”
The reality star continued, “Let’s please all try really hard to not hate, or bully contestants this year. Try to remind yourself they are humans, not characters. Words hurt and you never know how you would be in these kinds of situations. A little chirping and teasing is fun, questioning people’s behavior is fine. Hate is not. Xoxoxo.”
Bristowe then joked with her followers to not “rip me apart for looking different” since her first promo photo.
“I’ve aged 5 years, changed my teeth, have had Botox, and dyed my hair blonde,” she wrote. “Of freakin course I look different. K let’s gooooooooo #TheBachelor.”
Many fans were left wondering who Bristowe was referring to when she mentioned her “bitter feelings.” The Off the Vine host made a point to clarify that the individual had not been a contestant on the show, seemingly revealing that it was not about her ex, Shawn Booth, who she got engaged to at the end of her season as The Bachelorette. The couple called it quits in November 2018.
“I promise that’s not the only reason,” she responded to the fan. “But I love everyone else from that show like family.”
In October, during an interview with comedian Nikki Glaser on an episode of Talkhouse Podcast, the former Bachelorette let loose on her feelings about Fleiss and their tense relationship after the topic of DWTS was brought up.
“They won’t let me [go on the show], ever,” Bristowe claimed. “I’ll tell you exactly why I can’t go on Dancing with the Stars. Anybody that listens to this podcast knows why I cannot go on Dancing with the Stars. And it’s because, and I will say this with a mic in my hand and a smile on face, that Mike Fleiss is a piece of s—. He is the creator of The Bachelor, and he hates women.”
Bristowe has long insisted that Fleiss, 55, blocked her from joining the hit ABC dance competition series when she was approached after her season of The Bachelorette in 2015. She even worked as a professional dancer before appearing on reality TV.
So far, four Bachelors have competed on DWTS: Jake Pavelka, Sean Lowe, Soules and Nick Viall. The only Bachelorettes to have competed are Trista Sutter during the show’s very first season in 2005 and Hannah Brown, who took home the Mirrorball trophy on the latest season.
On Talkhouse Podcast, Bristowe also alleged, “So [Fleiss] lets all the Bachelors go on and the only reason he let Hannah go on this season of Dancing with the Stars is because — well, I hope I had something to do with it, that I said something — but because he’s in hot water because there’s some s— that came out on him abusing his wife. So he’s like, ‘Look at me, I love women.’ As long as he’s in power with ABC, I will never get on that show.”
In July, Fleiss was ordered by a judge to stay 100 yards away from his estranged wife Laura Kaeppeler after she filed a complaint alleging that he’d verbally and physically abused her. In her complaint, she submitted photos of injuries and bruises she suffered, as well as footage of an alleged altercation between the two caught on security cameras at the couple’s home in Hawaii on July 6.
Kaeppeler, who said she was 10 weeks pregnant at the time, alleged Fleiss physically attacked her and “demanded” she get an abortion over July 4 weekend, according to her declaration obtained by The Blast.
Fleiss denied Kaeppeler’s allegations in his own declaration and requested primary custody of their 4-year-old son, Ben.
According to TMZ, the former couple reached a divorce settlement later that month, awarding Kaeppeler $10 million and granting each of them 50/50 physical and legal custody of their son. Kaeppeler dropped her domestic violence case as part of the settlement, TMZ reported.
In November, both Fleiss and Kaeppeler announced that they had reconciled and were “working together with the help of a marriage counselor to rebuild what we lost.”
Her drama with Fleiss aside, Bristowe also revealed that one of her friends was competing on this season of the reality dating show, warning Weber not to break her heart.
“@pilot_pete we are all rooting for you. Unless you break my friend’s heart. She’s on your season. Then you will have me to deal with 💪🏼 (jk),” Bristowe joked.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.