Entertainment TV Kaitlyn Bristowe Says 'Bachelorette' Co-Host Gig Hurt Her Friendship with Chris Harrison: 'Down the Toilet' Chris Harrison stepped away from The Bachelor franchise in 2021 after 19 years as host — and a racism scandal By Kelly Wynne Kelly Wynne Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 1, 2023 04:02 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty (2) Kaitlyn Bristowe's friendship with Chris Harrison changed after she stepped in as The Bachelorette's co-host. The former Bachelorette — who co-hosted Katie Thurston's season alongside Tayshia Adams — said former host Harrison, 51, went silent on her after the news broke. At first, Bristowe didn't understand the scope of the hosting requirements, she said on Tuesday's episode of Dear Media's Not Skinny but Not Fat podcast. "They offered me the position to come in and — what the Bachelor franchise said was — to mentor Katie," Bristowe said. Kaitlyn Bristowe Reacts to The Bachelorette Having Two Leads: 'Why Are We Doing This Again?' "I wouldn't be replacing Chris," she claimed was the point of the Bachelorette stand-in. However, in the news cycle, Bristowe and Adams were referred to as taking Harrison's place. "So I messaged Chris probably about 10 times without him responding," Bristowe added. "I just want him to know that I thought he was irreplaceable and I didn't want to step on toes." Though the pair didn't reconnect, Bristowe eventually ran into Harrison at Wells Adams' wedding to Sarah Hyland. Rick Rowell/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty By that point, Bristowe thought, "'we were best friends and now he hates me.'" But she approached the former host at the wedding regardless. "I saw him at Wells and Sarah's wedding and I walked him to him and I was like, 'I miss you,' and he was like, 'Well I've always been here," and said the interaction was "tough." Of the broken bond, Bristowe said she cried "my eyes out" and that it "just felt like it went down the toilet." Kaitlyn Bristowe Confirms She Won't Be Returning to Co-Host The Bachelorette: 'Can't Have It All' Harrison stepped away from The Bachelor franchise in 2021 after 19 years as host. His exit followed controversy surrounding contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's former Old South-themed sorority photos. At the time, Harrison asked fans to have "a little grace" for Kirkconnell. He also diminished the problematic nature of her actions, saying: "Is it a good look in 2018? Or, is it not a good look in 2021? Because there's a big difference." He later apologized for "wrongly speaking in a manner that perpetuates racism." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Bristowe and Adams, 32, later stepped in for two seasons of The Bachelorette. Eventually, they were permanently replaced by Jesse Palmer. The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.