Katie Thurston The Bachelorette

Katie Thurston Reveals Why She Shared Her Sexual Assault Experience On The Bachelorette

By now, it’s safe to say you’ve seen The Bachelorette episode where Katie Thurston revealed a past non-consensual sexual encounter during a group date. To recap, the bank marketing manager shared the deeply disturbing experience and stated “that is not something I wish upon anybody” (via People).

She said she was in such denial about the encounter. She admitted that she “tried to form a relationship with him, because I didn’t want to believe what actually had happened.”

Katie sat down with Glamour to talk about her decision to share something so private with millions of viewers. “As heartbreaking as these stories are, we are healing and starting conversations so we can move forward,” she said.

The plan wasn’t to share this information during the group date. Katie explained she only interested in “surface level” things like “spilling the tea, finding out what’s in the DMs,” and “what’s the gossip about these men, what exes are coming forward.”

However, once the discussion turned deep and “each guy opened up more and more,” Katie said she “felt compelled to be vulnerable” to share her experience.

During the episode, Katie revealed that not even her own mother knew the story, but shared it with her before the episode aired so she wouldn’t find out on television. “Honestly, I held off for a little bit. When you get home from the experience, there’s just so much happening. There was a point where I wondered if my story was even going to be shown because it is kind of a heavy topic for family television,” she said. “But it was only two weeks ago that I told my mom because I knew this episode was coming up and I didn’t want her to find out on TV. I think, as a mother, it was hard for her to feel like she couldn’t be there for me or that she didn’t feel like a safe space for me.”

Katie’s conversation with her mother was cathartic. But, she admits that “there’s nothing we can do to resolve it,” but the conversation allowed her mother to share her own experiences as well. And that’s what Katie hopes will happen with anyone who watched.  “I think what’s going to happen with this episode is so many people are going to come forward with their own stories,” she said, adding her hope that we all can “be better as individuals when it comes to consent and sexual experiences.”

Katie revealed that her reasoning for attempting to form a relationship with the unidentified male was because she “failed in protecting myself and in standing up for myself,” and the feeling of failure was too much. “I wanted to make it feel like it was intentional. Like, ‘Yeah, we both wanted this because we were heading into a relationship,” she said of her coping mechanism.

The biggest takeaway Katie wants people to take from her experience is that “that if you’re uncomfortable having that conversation, then you’re probably not ready to be having sex with that person to begin with.” Good words to live by. She also revealed that she watches each episode by herself, including this one, but will be watching again to fully process it.

In the end, Katie learned that “sex is an equal agreement, even if you do have consent.”

She added that it’s easy to “create this unhealthy relationship with sex by not making it an equal two-way street.” Katie stated, “And people need to remember that being sex positive doesn’t just mean I’m walking around with vibrators.”


[Photo Credit: ABC/Andrew Eccles]