Matt James

The Bachelor Alum Matt James Addresses Shade From Clare Crawley 2 Years Later

Way back in the Spring of  2020, when there was this little thing called “Covid” happening, who knew there was so much drama surrounding the upcoming season of The Bachelorette? As producers were focused on how to safely film their show amid pandemic protocols, their star, Season 16 Bachelorette Clare Crawley (back for a 4th try at love on a Bachelor-themed show–or was it the 5th? I’ve lost count), was busy throwing shade at one of her proposed suitors, even before they’d met.

“If you are doing interviews and creating Cameo accounts before you are even on my season . . . you are in it for the wrong reasons . . .  #dontwasteyourtime,” Claire tweeted, without naming contestant Matt James, who was set to appear on her season.

As reported in an interview with US Weekly, former college football player Matt ended up bypassing The Bachelorette altogether to become the Season 25 Bachelor, rather than competing for the hairstylist’s affections. Matt addressed all the fuss for the first time in his new book, First Impressions.


RELATED: Clare Crawley Might Be Dating A Contestant From Her Season Of The Bachelorette


Turns out the Cameo posts were for charity, not self-promotion. “[Clare‘s] sentiment backfired. On Twitter, Bachelor Nation quickly pounced, rushing to point out the worthy cause our work benefitted,” said Matt, who had been on Cameo at the time with New York Giants’ wide receiver Alex Bachman. He wrote in his book, “I appreciated their support, but it was hard to take any positives away from the tiff. I hadn’t met Clare, yet I still held out hope that, once the world was back up and running, there might be chemistry for us to discover.”

But Matt and Clare‘s romance was not to be. ABC opted to make Matt the first Black Bachelor, announcing his casting in June 2020. He never crossed paths with Clare, whose season filmed that summer in Palm Springs, California.

“I’ve never spoken to her in my entire life,” Matt said about his current status with Clare. “I had nothing to say [when I first saw her tweet]. I was just like, ‘Dang, that’s crazy!’ I was in shock. I was at a loss for words when I saw that.”


RELATED: Dale Moss Claims That Clare Crawley Has Blocked His Number After Their Recent Breakup


Matt claimed that he included the story in his memoir, in part, because it teaches a lesson about giving people the benefit of the doubt, and that he wasn’t intending to throw “shade” at Clare.

“I just think it would be unfair, especially for someone in her situation with her track record on the show, for me to come in with a preconceived notion of everything,” he said about keeping an open mind about Clare at the time.

Matt said, “So I didn’t look into any of it. I knew she had gone on other [seasons of the shows (at least 4)], but, like, I didn’t do any research into it because it didn’t matter — who she was in this moment wasn’t who she was back then and I didn’t, frankly, care because we’re here in this moment. So to be judged by her or anybody to judge somebody on what they think about someone without meeting them, I don’t think is the right way to go about getting to know somebody.”


RELATED: Former The Bachelor Couple Juan Pablo Galavis And Nikki Ferrell Hang Out After 7 Years Post-Split


Matt went on to say, “I couldn’t tell my story without including that, because it was very pivotal in my journey. If that wouldn’t have happened, then who knows if I would have become the Bachelor,” he admitted. “It was just giving the full context of how I ended up where I did.”

Poor Clare. She blew her chance with a decent guy, Matt, who is still in a relationship with the girl to whom he gave his Final Rose, Rachael Kirkconnell. And Clare? Still single.

Maybe the 6th time will be the charm?


[Photo Credit: Craig Sjodin via Getty Images]