Though it never aired, the feud started while they were competing on Nick Viall's season of The Bachelor

By Aurelie Corinthios
November 26, 2019 05:05 PM

Rachel Lindsay is opening up about her history with fellow Bachelor contestant Vanessa Grimaldi.

In a sneak peek at Wednesday’s episode of her Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, Lindsay, 34, recalls her behind-the-scenes feud with Grimaldi, 32, which started while the women were competing on Nick Viall‘s season of The Bachelor in 2017.

The episode is the final half of a two-part “Friendsgiving” special hosted by Lindsay, her husband Bryan Abasolo and fellow franchise alumni Eric Bigger, Katie Morton, Tayshia Adams, Kendall Long and Joe Amabile.

“I was in a feud with Vanessa,” Lindsay says. “It wasn’t aired, but then it kind of became known … because certain people from the season would talk about it. But neither one of us ever went on social media and went at each other.”

“After time had passed and I had done The Bachelorette, she messaged me,” Lindsay continues. “We got on the phone and we didn’t even hash out what had happened because we’re so many years past that. We just picked up where we were and had a conversation about it and wished each other the best. We’re totally friendly and cool now.”

Rachel Lindsay (left) and Vanessa Grimaldi
| Credit: Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Still, Lindsay admits that “time had to pass” for the two to start over.

“We had to separate,” she explains. “It had to be the right time for us to be able to come to each other and work that out.”

Lindsay and Grimaldi’s feud became public in 2017 after fellow contestant Danielle Lombard claimed in a Reddit AMA that “Vanessa called Rachel something that was extremely derogatory” during filming, according to Refinery29.

“From what I heard it was bad,” Lombard said. “Vanessa had to be separated for the rest of the show.”

Lindsay then addressed the news in an interview with Entertainment Tonight in order to “set the record straight.” She said that she distanced herself from Grimaldi early on during production, but that one day, Grimaldi pulled her aside.

“Vanessa told me that I used ‘aggressive’ tones with her, and I was very upset by that,” Lindsay said. “There are so many stereotypes placed on African-American women.”

As for the “derogatory word,” Lindsay explained, “She called me a ‘bully,’ and for her to use that phrase was offensive to me. She had no examples to match it.”

Lindsay confirmed that she asked producers to keep the two separate to avoid further drama.

“This was an assassination on my character,” she said. “After I’ve faced uphill battles for my entire life and worked to prove myself in my career.”

Ultimately, Lindsay came in third and Grimaldi won, accepting Viall’s proposal on the season finale.

Grimaldi and Viall, 39, called it quits in August 2017, five months after their engagement aired on TV. Lindsay went on to become the first black Bachelorette and got engaged to her final pick, Abasolo, on the finale of her season in 2017. The two tied the knot this summer.