The Bachelor's Colton Underwood Claims He Was ‘Touched Inappropriately’ at Charity Event
"I didn't sign up to be a piece of meat or a zoo animal," the reality star said
Bachelor Colton Underwood made an early exit from a charity event after he was allegedly touched inappropriately.
The reality star, 27, said on Instagram that he was attempting to take photos with fans at an event for his Legacy Foundation on Wednesday when a personal line was crossed.
“I’m sorry if you didn’t get a picture at the event last night, but at one point during the event I was grabbed and touched inappropriately while people were throwing cameras in my face,” he wrote on his Instagram Story. “I am the type of person who would have stood in line for hours to make sure anyone who supported the event got a picture, but once that happened I had to do what was best for me as a human being.”
ABC did not return PEOPLE’s request for comment.
The incident, which was first reported by TMZ, occurred at his foundation’s Garden Party at Mavericks Beach Club in San Diego.
The event was slated to run from 6-9 p.m., and all proceeds from the $25 tickets went to the Legacy Foundation. The former NFL player launched the charity in 2015 to aid people living with cystic fibrosis.
“I didn’t sign up to be a piece of meat or a zoo animal. I hope we run into each other at another event or on the street and I can take the time to say hello,” he continued. “Thank you again for coming to support Legacy and the fight against CF.”
TMZ reports fellow Bachelor Nation stars Becca Kufrin, Garrett Yrigoyen, Blake Horstmann and Tanner Tolbert were all in attendance.
Underwood’s season of The Bachelor has shed light on sexual assault, and drew praise for the way it handled contestant Caelynn’s revelation that she was drugged and raped in college.
“My life was flipped upside down,” she told PEOPLE of the assault. “And even though I’ve moved on, it is something I will struggle with forever.”
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Underwood, who snagged the Bachelor role after an emotional stint on Bachelor in Paradise, shocked fans this week when he sent controversial contestant Demi home moments after she confessed she was falling in love.
“I appreciate you saying that to me. There’s a part of me that just doesn’t know if we can get there,” he said. “I just don’t know right now if I can see myself with you at the end of this.”
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.