"Some of the things I've seen being said to and about Matt are repulsive," she wrote on Instagram

By Jodi Guglielmi
March 18, 2021 04:05 PM
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Rachael Kirkconnell does not want Matt James to have to pay for her mistakes.

On Instagram Wednesday, Kirkconnell urged people to stop "attacking" James with "racist insults" after the Bachelor star decided to end their relationship following the controversy surrounding racially insensitive photos of hers.

"I am taken aback by what I've seen tonight. If you think that attacking a person I care about with racist insults is what I would ever want, you haven't been listening," wrote Kirkconnell, 24. "Some of the things I've seen being said to and about Matt are repulsive."

"I respect the decisions that Matt has had to make during this experience," she continued. "If you are directing hate towards him, please stop. Recognize someone's humanity and think about the impact your words have."

Rachael Kirkconnell
Credit: Rachael Kirkconnell/ instagram

Though James and Kirkconnell left season 25 of The Bachelor as a couple and remained together for a period of time after the cameras stopped rolling, their relationship came to an end after photos of Kirkconnell attending an antebellum plantation-themed party in 2018 surfaced on social media. She has apologized and said last month that she is "learning and will continue to learn how to be antiracist."

During the After the Final Rose special on Monday, James, 29, confirmed to host Emmanuel Acho that he called it quits with Kirkconnell after the photos came to light.

Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell
Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell
| Credit: Craig Sjodin/ ABC (2)

"As Rachael acknowledged in her apology, there's a lot of work that needs to be done," he said. "I have to take a step back and allow her to put in that work. And I'm looking forward to seeing her put in that work."

"If you don't understand that something like that is problematic in 2018, there's a lot of me that you won't understand," he said of the antebellum-themed party Kirkconnell attended. "It's as simple as that."

Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James
Rachael Kirkconnell and Matt James
| Credit: Rachael Kirkconnell/ instagram

After the special aired, Kirkconnell shared a lengthy Instagram post, saying she "completely" respected James' decision to end their relationship.

"I knew from the first night I met Matt that he was something special, and I was praying to share something exceptional between the two of us if that's what was meant to be," she wrote. "While I never expected this outcome, I respect his decision completely. Of course I wish circumstances were different, but I still feel blessed for the time we did have together and the memories we made." 

"I got to fall in love, and I truly believe he was the love of my life," she continued. "He will always hold a piece of my heart. I'll always be hopeful and believe what's meant to be will be."