'The Bachelorette': Katie Thurston Shares Painful Sexual Assault Experience She Kept a Secret

The current franchise lead said the situation happened 10 years ago on New Year's Eve.

Katie Thurston is sharing a painful experience from her past with some of her suitors. During the group date on Monday night's episode of The Bachelorette, Katie brought in Nick Viall to hold her men accountable.

After hearing stories from the guys, during which they were "open and vulnerable," Katie was inspired to share something of her own.

"What I’m going to tell you, a lot of people actually don’t know, including my own mom. I know you see me today as this very sex positive woman, who’s very confident. She hasn’t always been here," a noticeably emotional Katie began. "Ten years ago, it was New Year’s Eve and I had been drinking. I was involved in a situation where there wasn’t consent, and that is not something I wish upon anybody."

Katie continued by stating that, after the experience, she "was in denial about what happened, so much so that I tried to form a relationship with him, because I didn’t want to believe what actually had happened."

"When that didn’t work out, for years I had a very unhealthy relationship with sex. I didn’t want to have sex, which affects a relationship. I didn’t like talking about sex," she said. "It’s taken me a long time to get where I am now, and being open and comfortable to talk about it, and loving myself, and accepting things that I can no longer control."

"I just want you guys to know that I’ve come a long way in who I was 10 years ago and how important consent is, how important communication is, and how important it is to not guilt trip somebody for not having enough sex with them, guilt trip them for not having sex with them in general," Katie continued. "That is something really big that has happened in my life, that in some ways has really shaped me to who exactly I am today."

Nick and Katie's men responded by thanking her for sharing that with them, while Katie, in a confessional, explained how she felt after doing so.

"For a long time, I felt responsible for being too drunk, too irresponsible, too stupid, but it’s not my fault. Because consent is important and I did not give it that night," she said. "I didn't think I would go there today, but every single guy here stepped up to the plate and really exceeded my expectations. I feel like this weight has been lifted. I feel liberated. I just feel closer with them, each and every one of them today. I think it's just going to help all of us going forward."

The Bachelorette airs Mondays on ABC.