Rachel Lindsay on Getting Death Threats Following Interview with Former 'Bachelor' Host Chris Harrison

"I had commenters saying they hoped I was infertile. That ripped me up inside," Rachel Lindsay says in this week's issue of PEOPLE

Rachel Lindsay has had to endure a lot following her headline-making Extra interview with former Bachelor host Chris Harrison.

As part of her duties as an Extra correspondent, Lindsay — who starred on The Bachelorette in 2017 — interviewed Harrison, 50, last February about Matt James' Bachelor season. Harrison sparked backlash for making controversial comments in defense of then-contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's past racist actions before she was on the show. (Harrison apologized soon after.)

His departure from hosting the ABC franchise was announced that June.

For Lindsay, the interview with Harrison resulted in her being on the receiving end of death threats.

"I'm used to being misunderstood," Lindsay, 36, says in this week's issue of PEOPLE. "But people who didn't even watch the show were saying, 'That woman got that man canceled.' I had commenters saying they hoped I was infertile. That ripped me up inside."

The comments pushed the Miss Me with That author to take some time away from social media, but she says she still gets negative remarks to this day.

rachel Lindsay
Rachel Lindsay. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

"I still get messages blaming me for the show not being the way it used to be. But I think that's a good thing," she says, adding that it was "never part of some master plan" to get Harrison fired.

"I hope the show steps up and diversifies more, whether it's with age or gender or race. I would like for them to naturally and organically step into 2022," Lindsay says.

Chris Harrison and Rachel Lindsay
Rachel Lindsay and Chris Harrison. Randy Holmes/Getty Images

For more from Rachel Lindsay, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, or subscribe here.

The interview aftermath has additionally resulted in Lindsay and Harrison no longer being in communication with one another.

"We haven't spoken," Lindsay says. "He unfollowed me. That tells me everything I need to know."

When things go awry, Lindsay can always count on her "rock," husband Bryan Abasolo, for support.

Lindsay met Abasolo, 41, on her Bachelorette season airing in 2017. After getting engaged at the end of filming, the pair wed in 2019 at the Royalton Suites Cancún in Mexico.

"When I have those vulnerable moments, he always gives me a pep talk and brings me back to center," she says of Abasolo. "I'm so thankful I have him."

Bryan Abasolo and Rachel Lindsay
Mike Pont/Getty

Aside from her romance being a Bachelor Nation success story, Lindsay admits she no longer feels "connected to the show" at this point in her life.

But she "would never want it to end," says the former Bachelor Happy Hour host.

"I'm so glad I did the show and had the opportunity to represent myself," she says. "There were benefits I got from it, obviously, but I didn't have a Black consultant. I was teaching them about the Black experience and trying to find love at the same time, something no other lead had to do."

Lindsay's collection of essays, Miss Me with That: Hot Takes, Helpful Tidbits, and a Few Hard Truths, will be released on Jan. 25.

Updated by
Dory Jackson
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Dory Jackson is an Associate Editor for PEOPLE's digital TV team. While at the brand, she's had the opportunity to interview a long list of celebrities, from Kate Hudson to Pierce Brosnan to Billy Porter. She also recaps popular TV shows like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules.

The New York-based Maryland native graduated from Randolph-Macon College in May 2016 with a focus in Communication Studies and Journalism. She came to PEOPLE in March 2021 after working at a number of major news companies, including Newsweek and Us Weekly. She also previously co-hosted a podcast called "Idol Nation."

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