Kaitlyn Bristowe Claims Bachelor Creator Mike Fleiss 'Hates Women,' Blocked Her from DWTS
The season 11 Bachelorette has long insisted that Mike Fleiss kept her from competing on Dancing with the Stars while allowing male stars to participate
Kaitlyn Bristowe has some strong opinions about Mike Fleiss.
During an interview with comedian Nikki Glaser on the latest episode of Talkhouse Podcast, the former Bachelorette took aim at the creator of The Bachelor franchise after the topic of Dancing with the Stars was brought up.
“They won’t let me [go on the show], ever,” Bristowe claimed. “I’ll tell you exactly why I can’t go on Dancing with the Stars. Anybody that listens to this podcast knows why I cannot go on Dancing with the Stars. And it’s because, and I will say this with a mic in my hand and a smile on face, that Mike Fleiss is a piece of s—. He is the creator of The Bachelor, and he hates women.”
Reps for ABC and Warner Bros. had no comment when reached by PEOPLE.
Bristowe, 34, has long insisted that Fleiss, 55, blocked her from joining the hit ABC dance competition series when she was approached after her season of The Bachelorette in 2015. She even worked as a professional dancer before appearing on reality TV.
“Actually I was offered it, had the contract & Mike Fliess [sic] told me I wasn’t allowed,” she tweeted in 2017 after The Bachelor‘s Nick Viall (who placed second on her season) was cast on season 24 of DWTS. “He said he didn’t want people wanting fame after his show.”
Fleiss responded at the time, tweeting: “@kaitlynbristowe has my total support if she wants to appear on DWTS!!!”
“Thanks I’ll get right on that opportunity 2 yrs ago,” Bristowe fired back. “I wonder what changed your mind?”
So far, four Bachelors have competed on DWTS: Jake Pavelka, Sean Lowe, Chris Soules and Viall. The only Bachelorettes to have competed are Trista Sutter during the show’s very first season in 2005 and Hannah Brown, who is currently competing on season 28. (Former Bachelor contestant Melissa Rycroft also competed on season 8 and season 15, taking home the Mirrorball trophy her second time around.)
In a statement to Entertainment Tonight after Brown’s DWTS casting was announced, Bristowe said she “couldn’t be more excited” for her.
“I’ve spoken out in the past about how Bachelorettes haven’t gotten the same love as Bachelors when it comes to the chance to complete in the ballroom,” she said. “The fact that it’s finally happening again for a female franchise lead is long overdue. I will be watching, glass of wine in hand, and cheering her on.”
On Talkhouse Podcast, Bristowe alleged, “So [Fleiss] lets all the Bachelors go on and the only reason he let Hannah go on this season of Dancing with the Stars is because — well, I hope I had something to do with it, that I said something — but because he’s in hot water because there’s some s— that came out on him abusing his wife. So he’s like, ‘Look at me, I love women.’ As long as he’s in power with ABC, I will never get on that show.”
In July, Fleiss was ordered by a judge to stay 100 yards away from his estranged wife Laura Kaeppeler after she filed a complaint alleging that he’d verbally and physically abused her. In her complaint, she submitted photos of injuries and bruises she suffered, as well as footage of an alleged altercation between the two caught on security cameras at the couple’s home in Hawaii on July 6.
Kaeppeler, who said she was 10 weeks pregnant at the time, alleged Fleiss physically attacked her and “demanded” she get an abortion over July 4 weekend, according to her declaration obtained by The Blast.
Fleiss denied Kaeppeler’s allegations in his own declaration and requested primary custody of their 4-year-old son, Ben.
At the time, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. told PEOPLE in a statement, “We are aware of these serious allegations, and are looking into them.”
According to TMZ, the former couple reached a divorce settlement later that month, awarding Kaeppeler $10 million and granting each of them 50/50 physical and legal custody of their son. Kaeppeler dropped her domestic violence case as part of the settlement, TMZ reported.
Legal representatives for Fleiss did immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment at the time.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.
If you suspect domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.