"Actually I was offered it, had the contract & Mike Fliess told me I wasn't allowed," she alleged in response to a question about why there are no Bachelorette stars on the dancing show. "He said he didn't want people wanting fame after his show."
Actually I was offered it, had the contract & Mike Fliess told me I wasn't allowed.He said he didnt want people wanting fame after his show🤔 https://t.co/nSzricohi4
In an exclusive statement to ET on Wednesday, Bristowe explained why she decided to share her side of the story.
"I believe men and women should be afforded the same opportunities," she said. "That has not been the case with The Bachelorettes and The Bachelors. I had an offer to do Dancing With The Stars and was told by [Bachelor creator] Mike [Fleiss] I could not. I was told by Mike that it is bad for his brand, and that he is sick of people wanting fame from his show."
"I am a dancer and wanted to do it, [my fiancé] Shawn [Booth] wanted me to as well," she continued. "He even wrote Mike emails. I told Mike it was my passion. I was told Shawn should be my only passion."
Bristowe concluded her statement by telling ET that down the road, she hopes her message will enact change for the females of Bachelor Nation.
"My hope in speaking out is that future Bachelorettes are given the same opportunity as Bachelors," she said. "Whether it be a wedding, to dance, or another show. (Ben [Higgins] had the decision to do dancing or his own show.) Just to be treated the same -- to choose whatever will make them happy."
The statement came just a few hours after the full list of competitors for season 24 of DWTS were announced on Good Morning America. One of the contestants this season is current star of The Bachelor, Nick Viall, who was the runner-up on Bristowe's season of The Bachelorette.
A Bachelorette star has not appeared on DWTS since Trista Sutter, who competed on season one of the show.
In addition to Viall, other former Bachelor stars that have appeared on DWTS include Jake Pavelka, Sean Lowe and Chris Soules, who is the most recent competitor, appearing on season 20 with pro dancer Witney Carson.
When ET caught up with Soules over the phone on Tuesday, he had nothing but positive things to say about Viall's journey from The Bachelor to the ballroom. He did, however, echo Bristowe's comments about not being allowed to compete.
"Honestly, I've always known Nick has wanted to do Dancing With the Stars," Soules revealed. "I even said, 'I don't know if they are ever going to let another Bachelor / Bachelorette do it' after I went for whatever reason, 'cause I was the last one [allowed on]."
"I had heard Kaitlyn had been blocked doing [it]," he claimed. "I don't know what happened with Ben [Higgins] and why he didn't do it – but I was a little surprised. I didn't know if they'd let [Nick] do it. I don't know why they didn't let Kaitlyn do it. Some things happen in that world that I don't understand, I'll never try to."
Regardless, Soules will most definitely be rooting for Viall when DWTS returns to ABC on March 20.
"He'll do great and I'm happy for him that he's getting the opportunity," he gushed, telling ET that joining DWTS was "one of the coolest things" he's ever done, but also "scary as hell."
"If anybody was given the opportunity to do something like that, to do Dancing With the Stars, I'd say do it 'cause it's one of the most rewarding, incredible experiences that I've ever been able to be a part of," he said. "And I've built some really great friendships from it … I can't compare anything I've done in my life, for the most part, to my experience on Dancing With the Stars."