“I told Ben the story of my family, but I left out the biggest part,” Haitian-born Sharpe tells PEOPLE. “My three brothers and my parents died, but I don’t know the details. I was 6, but I don’t remember my parents. My 4-year-old little sister and I went to live with my grandmother but she had leprosy and was dying and too sick to take care of us. So she put me and my little sister in an orphanage.”
Continues Sharpe, “My dad came to Haiti to do relief work and he showed up to the orphanage and [wanted to adopt me]. He tried to adopt my sister, but after they went through the medical process, they found out she had an incurable disease and wasn’t able to be adopted.”
A couple of years ago, Sharpe, 25, tried in vain to find her sister.
“The person who did my adoption told me she was probably dead,” says Sharpe. “That’s where my guilt had come from.”
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Confronting her emotional past wasn’t the only difficult experience Sharpe had on the show. During Monday night’s Women Tell All, Jami Leitan and Amber James accused Sharpe of making offensive remarks. Sharpe insists she would never do such a thing.
“I said I am the one full black girl in the house,” says Sharpe. “I think of that as a fact. The way they tried to portray me really got to me, like I was the racist black girl. Race has never been a thing for me. My whole [adopted] family is white. I wasn’t raised seeing color.”
The Bachelor finale airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.