Bachelor Alums Responded To The Sexual Assault Allegations Against Joe Coleman
Katie Thurston and Elizabeth Corrigan have spoken out.
(Content warning: This story discusses sexual assault.) The Bachelorette’s Joe Coleman has been accused of sexual assault on Reddit. In the first thread, posted in January 2022, a since-deleted Reddit account shared the stories they heard about Coleman, including several alleged instances of sexual assault. This user claimed to have attended the University of Minnesota in 2012 and 2013, when Coleman was also a student. Then, on March 1, another Reddit user alleged Coleman had sexually assaulted them on Feb. 26, 2013. (In both threads, the moderators of The Bachelor subreddit left a pinned comment to clarify that they “verified this person’s identity,” though they did not specify how they did so.) And now, Bachelor alums are responding to Coleman’s sexual assault allegations — and they aren’t the only ones speaking up. (Elite Daily reached out to Coleman for a comment on the allegations and Bachelor Nation’s response, but did not hear back in time for publication.)
After the second Reddit post, Coleman reportedly addressed the claims in a series of comments on Instagram. In one screenshot, posted to Reddit, a commenter wrote on Coleman’s profile, “He is going to ignore it like the rest of his victims speaking up.” The former Bachelorette contestant reportedly replied, “since when are we calling anonymous reddit users victims. stop it, go troll someone else.” When another commenter wrote, “we believe survivors of sexual violence,” Coleman replied, “you believe reddit.”
(Reddit may give users the option of anonymity — and therefore, be potentially easier to dismiss as a platform — but it’s important to note that many sexual assault hotlines are also anonymous. For example, Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, and their online hotline takes several measure “to ensure a hotline user's safety and anonymity,” including employing anonymous routing methods and the use of unique codes. Anonymity does not necessarily equal unreliability.)
Though Coleman later deleted those reported comments and limited his comments section on Instagram, some Bachelor alums have spoken out about the allegations. On March 2, former Bachelorette Katie Thurston shared a YouTube video about the situation with a sticker that said, “Believe Survivors.” She also shared a video from RAINN that was a “love letter” to survivors of sexual violence; she herself is a survivor of sexual assault.
Elizabeth Corrigan, who appeared on Clayton Echard’s season of The Bachelor, also seemed to respond to the allegations against Coleman on March 2. Though she did not explicitly name him, she posted a tweet that read, “I am in the habit of believing women.” She followed it up with a link to RAINN and a poll: “What % of women do you know that have been sexually harassed, abused or raped?” Her answer was, “All of them.”
“Anyone I have ever had an honest conversation around harassment, abuse and rape has had at least one happen to them,” she wrote. (According to RAINN, 1 out of every 6 American women have experienced attempted rape or rape. Per NPR, a 2018 survey revealed 81% of women have experienced sexual harassment.)
Coleman has yet to publicly respond to Thurston or Corrigan’s comments.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.