Chris Harrison Addresses Kaitlyn Bristowe's Ghosting Comments, Talks Hosting Drama

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Chris Harrison
Rick Rowell/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

The duo hashed things out on Harrison's podcast.

Chris Harrison and Kaitlyn Bristowe are airing out their drama once and for all. On The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever, the former Bachelor franchise host and his one-time replacement discussed their falling out, days after Bristowe claimed Harrison ghosted her when she landed the gig.

Before Bristowe joined the episode, Harrison reacted to the headlines that surfaced after Bristowe's last interview, classifying it as "a cry for something that she lost... that was our friendship."

"Instead of getting mad, or even disappointed, which I'm not, I was saddened that a friend of mine was mourning the loss of our friendship and that that friendship had changed," he said. "And yes, to a certain degree, it did change."

The duo started from the beginning, rehashing what went down after Harrison's exit from the series when Bristowe publicly reacted to Harrison's controversy.

"I called you that morning and we talked a little bit, and you made the statements that you were going to make, and we talked about that and I supported you," he said. "[I] said look, 'I totally understand. ​Do what you got to do. That this doesn't affect us.'"

Harrison and Bristowe didn't talk after that conversation, though he did speak to Tayshia Adams after learning that it was planned for the two women to join the franchise.

"Someone on the inside of production had let me know that you guys were going to take over as mentors... While I was talking to Tayshia about something completely different, I did mention to her, like, 'Oh hey, by the way, I do know this,'" he recalled. "... Neither one of you had reached out... said, 'Hey Chris, just know that they're talking to me about this, we're going to do this,' so while I was on the phone with her, I just brought it up myself and said, 'No hard feelings for you and Kaitlyn, I am in no way angry. I'm in no way bitter. I don't feel like you two stabbed me in the back.'"

"I would not expect either one of you to say, 'I love Chris, he's my friend. I'm turning down this job,'" Harrison added. "… Why would you turn down that opportunity when this had nothing to do with you? That's all I said to her."

After the news became public, Bristowe previously said on Dear Media's Not Skinny But Not Fat podcast that she texted Harrison "probably 10 times without him responding." On his podcast, Harrison clarified that many of Bristowe's texts were "one strain of thought that came out on one day."

"A week later [or] so you said, 'Hey if you get a chance call me.' And so there wasn't ghosting," he said. "… It had nothing -- and I mean, nothing -- to do with you and Tayshia hosting the show. It had to do with the fact that I was going through something extraordinary… I don't mean this in a condescending way, [but] it had nothing to do with you or Tayshia."

Bristowe responded to Harrison's explanation by admitting that "perception is never the actual reality."

"To me, I was like, 'I feel like I did reach out to you... and I feel like I cared so much, but I was also in such a weird position," she said. "And then I understand that you were also in a weird position. So when I didn't get a text message back, I was like, 'OK, it's just this is what it has to be. The relationship obviously has to change.' So then I feel like I wanted to continue to reach out and check in and talk, but then I felt like, 'Well, he’s not ready to talk to me.'"

Harrison confirmed that, amid the controversy he was going through, he wanted to surround himself with people who supported him.

"I was the mentor, somewhat of a father figure, where I listened. I asked questions and I was all about you and your life, because that was my job and I care. I took a lot of pride in that and that's how our relationship started," he explained. "This time, I needed that flip of just the, 'Hey, how are you? Are you OK?' Not, 'Are you OK with me taking the show and you're irreplaceable.' I appreciated those words, but it was just at that time, I didn't have the bandwidth to deal with all of that."

Also, he noted, he "really, truly just wasn't worried at all about who was hosting and who was the next mentor or what the show was going to do."

When he did take a moment to process the fact that Bristowe and Adams landed the role, Harrison did not think the idea would work. Harrison was eventually proved right, as Jesse Palmer replaced the women in 2021.

"You were doomed to fail. You were set up to fail. That was never going to succeed," he told Bristowe. "… There's not room for two people. There's not room for two mentors. There's not room for two emotions in that mental space that you're taking over and so that was just never going to work. 

"I knew how awkward and tough that situation was going to be," Harrison added. "... To have two women hosting The Bachelorette -- so now you really have three women -- that's a lot in that space. I don't know how you’re set up to succeed there."

Once the job got underway, Bristowe herself wasn't feeling all that confident.

"I loved it because I love hosting… but then I also [felt] guilty," she said. "There's times I was feeling guilty, like, impostor syndrome. [I'm wondering], 'Why do I deserve to have this or be here?' On another level, I'm feeling, like, 'Why can't I do this on my own?… Why do they not just trust me by myself?'"

On top of that, Bristowe said, the setup didn't "feel professional."

"It kind of made us feel silly and goofy with each other where we didn't take it as serious[ly] as one person would have," she said. "... There really isn't enough room for two people to be in that position."

During Bristowe's Not Skinny But Not Fat interview, she recalled what happened when she and Harrison bumped into each other at Wells Adams and Sarah Hyland's August 2022 wedding.

"I walked up to him and I was like, 'I miss you.' And he's like, 'Well, I've always been here.' And I'm like, 'No you haven't! You haven't responded to me in forever!'" Bristowe said. "That was tough."

On his podcast, Harrison shared the interaction from his point of view, revealing that it came when he was speaking to Bristowe's fiancé, Jason Tartick.

"You walked over and joined us and I gave you a big hug... When you said to me, 'Hey, I miss you. And I miss this,' it really hit me in the heart. I gave you a big, long hug and we embraced for probably 10 seconds too long," he said. "I said, 'You know, I've always been here. I'm always here for you.' I didn't mean like, 'Hey, I'm always here, it's on you.' When you see it in print, that's how it came off, but it wasn't you."

Bristowe acknowledged Harrison's point of view, before explaining, "When you said, 'I've always been here,' that's when my brain went, 'No, you haven't! You ignored me and you didn't text me back.'" 

"We all know how I'm dramatic. I respond always with emotion," she said. "I wanted to be like, 'But I didn't feel like you were,' but again, I had to reel it in and know that you didn't have to be. You didn't have to be there for me at that time. I should have been more there for you if anything and I was expecting you to be there for me."

After the episode went live, Bristowe shared Harrison's Instagram Story post promoting their conversation, joking that she'd officially been "unghosted."