Chris Harrison has ‘no regrets’ over Bachelor fall-out after receiving $9M golden handshake: ‘I wish everybody the best’
Chris Harrison admitted he had ‘no regrets’ about leaving the Bachelor franchise after a 19-year hosting gig.
The 50-year-old face of the popular ABC dating program was happy to have just a little bit of his life back in order after accepting a $9million golden handshake when he officially left the show in June.
‘I wish everybody the best,’ he told TMZ after wining and dining the night away in Westlake Village with girlfriend Lauren Zima.
Honest: Chris Harrison admitted he had ‘no regrets’ about leaving the Bachelor franchise after a 19-year hosting gig; seen in October
‘I will say it’s been kind of nice to have, after 19 years, have my Mondays back including last night,’ he added. ‘I actually got to celebrate my birthday thanks to this beautiful woman. I was with my family and my friends. It was absolutely awesome.’
Chris received a $9million payout in June with ‘remaining contractual fees, which brought his total exit package to roughly $10 million,’ according to Variety.
The outlet calculated the severance is roughly equivalent to two years of work as it is believed that he took home about $5million a year.
At the time, Harrison allegedly demanded $25million to leave The Bachelor franchise — or else he would air 19 years of behind-the-scenes secrets in a slew of lawsuits against the its producers and executives.
‘He has nearly 20 years of dirt,’ an insider told Page Six. ‘Instead of handing them a rose, he was absolutely ready to hand them a lawsuit detailing all the behind-the-scenes details.
‘I will say it’s been kind of nice to have, after 19 years, have my Mondays back including last night,’ he added. ‘I actually got to celebrate my birthday thanks to this beautiful woman. I was with my family and my friends. It was absolutely awesome’
‘He knows a lot about inappropriate behavior on set: fights between contestants, misbehavior including [the] use of illegal substances while overseas and complaints from producers that were allegedly brushed under the carpet by ABC execs.’
‘He was ready to tell the truth about how things really work over there, and he had plenty of evidence to back him up,’ the source continued. ‘Chris Harrison’s whole life was The Bachelor and he did not want to let go.’
Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment said in a statement in June: ‘Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of The Bachelor franchise. We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey.’
His departure was not easy, sources said, adding that ‘the veteran host deeply cared about Bachelor Nation and loved his job.’
Harrison abruptly departed the show mid-season on Feb. 13, where days earlier he had defended one of the contestants, Rachael Kirkconnell, 24, for attending an ‘Old South’ plantation-themed party in 2018.
Photos surfaced of contestant Rachael Kirkconnell at a plantation-themed party in 2018 as well as a history of liking photos with the Confederate flag
Tough: Harrison told Michael Strahan during a Good Morning America interview in Marchthat he was wrong on his opinion of Kirkconnell’s history and dismissing Lindsey’s viewpoint: ‘I made a mistake. I am an imperfect man. I made a mistake and I own that’
Harrison tried to claim that the three-year-old photo should be seen in the context of the time and implied that Kirkconnell was a victim of ‘cancel culture’ while chatting about the photo with The Bachelorette’s first Black lead, Rachel Lindsey.
Lindsay told him: ‘Well, the picture was from 2018 at an Old South antebellum party – that’s not a good look.’
Harrison replied: ‘Well, Rachel, is it a good look in 2018 or is it not a good look in 2021? Because there’s a big difference.’
Harrison told Michael Strahan during a Good Morning America interview in March that he was not only wrong about his opinion of Kirkconnell’s history, but also dismissing Lindsey’s viewpoint: ‘I made a mistake. I am an imperfect man. I made a mistake and I own that.’
Not enough: Harrison issued an apology at the time saying he is ‘ashamed’ of the ‘pain’ he has caused to people of color and that he is committed to ‘evolve and be a better man’