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'The Bachelor' Star Matt James & Ex Rachael Kirkconnell Are 'Just Friends' After Being Spotted Together

Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell are not back together.

Recently, fans started speculation that the Matt, 29, and Rachael, 24, were dating again after a fan spotted them out together in New York.

Now a source close to Matt has shared a statement that he and Rachael “are just friends.”

“They are not together. He supports her as a friend. He is not looking for a relationship,” the source told People. “Matt is focused on engaging in meaningful projects in the community at this time.”

As Bachelor fans can remember, Rachael won Matt‘s season of the hit ABC romance series and dated for a while after filming ended, but they broke up after photos of Rachael attending an antebellum plantation-themed party in 2018 resurfaced online.

has since apologized for her scandal, saying that she is “learning and will continue to learn how to be antiracist.”

Find out who will be the stars of the next two seasons of The Bachelorette!

Matt James Speaks Out About Chris Harrison Controversy, Reveals Whether He'd Reconcile with Rachael Kirkconnell

Matt James is opening up about his split from Rachael Kirkconnell.

During an appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast on Friday, the former Bachelor discussed a possible reconciliation with Rachael.

“I don’t think that anyone’s irredeemable,” Matt said of getting back together with Rachael after their split.

“And, I think that for Rachael, there’s a lot that we didn’t discuss that we probably should’ve talked about. I probably should’ve asked more clarifying questions. And I’m giving her that space to do that,” he added.

Matt also revealed that he found out about Rachael‘s offensive photos the same way Bachelor Nation did – through social media.

“The tough thing is having to explain to America why those pictures are problematic to me,” Matt said. “You hear people harping on forgiveness and I forgave her when she told me. That doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed and that I don’t want her to do better.”

Matt also said he’s going to take some time to focus on himself and didn’t have plans to get into another relationship anytime soon.

“In the meantime, I’m working on myself. I’m not going to be dating,” he shared. “I’m just solely focused on getting back into that meaningful work in the community and centering myself around projects that are going to elevate all the work that I’ve been working on doing in the city and special interest things that I appreciate outside of reality television.”

Matt also discussed Chris Harrison‘s controversial interview with Rachel Lindsay.

“As I watched that interview with Chris and Rachel, I thought I was in an alternate reality. It didn’t even seem real as it’s coming out,” Matt said. “It was sad. It was sad to hear that because I had so many conversations [with him] about how I was feeling, what I was going through in that crazy process that I was in, and it’s hard to imagine that he could really sympathize with what I was feeling.”

Chris has outlined in his statement that he’s committed to putting in the work, he’s taking a step back, so I respect that. I hope that he does,” he continued. “I don’t think that anybody should be trying to cancel him. We should be calling him in to do that work that he’s outlined that he wants to do. I look forward to seeing him do that.”

Find out who will be the stars of the next two seasons of The Bachelorette!

Rachael Kirkconnell Speaks Out After Shocking 'Bachelor' Conclusion

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'The Bachelor' Finale Spoilers: Matt James Explains Why He Broke Up with Rachael Kirkconnell

The latest season of The Bachelor had a shocking conclusion and now Matt James is opening up to explain why it had to end the way it did.

Matt gave his final rose to Rachael Kirkconnell, but decided not to propose because he didn’t feel he was ready to take that step in their relationship.

After the season had wrapped, photos from Rachael‘s past surfaced and showed that she had attended an Antebellum party in 2018. At first, Matt was sticking by her side, but he couldn’t continue their relationship after Rachael expressed that she didn’t understand why people were offended by the images.

“It was as tough as you can imagine, and it’s heartbreaking,” Matt told After the Final Rose host Emmanuel Acho. “If you don’t understand why something like that is problematic in 2018, there’s a lot of me that you won’t understand. It’s as simple as that. … And I wasn’t okay, because it was in that moment and the conversation that I had that Rachael might not understand what it means to be Black in America.”

Matt said that he ended their relationship so Rachael can take time to grow as a person, but that he couldn’t be with her while she does that.

“As Rachael acknowledged in her apology, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done. I have to take a step back and allow her to put in that work,” he said. “And I’m looking forward to seeing her put in that work.”

Later on in the episode, Matt and Rachael came face-to-face for the first time since their breakup.

Click inside to find out what he told her… More Here! »

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Are Matt James & Rachael Kirkconnell Still Together? Finale Spoilers Revealed

The fate of Matt James‘ relationship with controversial The Bachelor contestant Rachael Kirkconnell was finally revealed during the finale’s After the Final Rose special.

We learned during the finale that Matt gave his final rose to Rachael, though they did not get engaged at the end of the season.

After they finished filming the season, photos from Rachael‘s past surfaced and showed how she had attended a plantation party and also liked racially insensitive posts on social media. The controversy blew up after the show’s host Chris Harrison defended Rachael during an interview and dismissed that racism was an issue in the situation.

Chris later stepped back from the remainder of the season and Emmanuel Acho was named the replacement host of the After the Final Rose special. He also is not hosting the upcoming season of The Bachelorette.

Click inside to find out if Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell are still together… More Here! »

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Rachel Lindsay Accepts 'Bachelor' Host Chris Harrison's Apology

Rachel Lindsay is accepting Chris Harrison‘s apology.

The former Bachelorette confirmed to TMZ that she accepts the Bachelor host’s apology because “it’s what she needs to do to move forward with her life.”

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Rachel Lindsay

She also said she and Chris have not spoken directly since his interview on Good Morning America, but she watched it. She also said they spoke about three weeks ago, and he apologized directly then too.

If you didn’t know, during an interview with Rachel Lindsay, he said that the “woke police” was out to get contestant Rachael Kirkconnell against claims that she had been racist in her past behavior, and that there is a difference in how one behaves in 2018 vs. in 2021.

“I am saddened and shocked at how insensitive I was in that interview with Rachel Lindsay. I can’t believe I didn’t speak against antebellum parties, what they stand for. I didn’t say it then and I want to say it now: those parties are not OK, past, present, future. And I didn’t speak from my heart. And that is to say that I stand against all forms of racism, and I am deeply sorry to Rachel Lindsay and to the Black community,” he said. Find out what else he said in the apology.

'The Bachelor's Rachael Kirkconnell Tells People to 'Please Stop' Defending Her Amid Racism Controversy

Rachael Kirkconnell is once again addressing her racism controversy.

After issuing a written apology a few weeks ago after a photo resurfaced online of her attending a plantation-themed party, the 24-year-old The Bachelor contestant shared a new video on Thursday (February 25) where she said that moving forward, she will dedicate her platform to sharing anti-racism resources.

“Over the last few weeks, since I put my statement out, I’ve gotten a lot of messages,” Rachael started in a video posted on Instagram. “I’ve got a lot of people asking me, well, what have you done to change since then? And I’ve also had a lot of people message me saying that they aren’t understanding why people are so upset. But they want to, and they’ve asked for resources, which I think is great.”

Rachael Kirkconnell tells people to stop defending her

Rachael then went on to condemn the people that said that she didn’t do anything wrong by attending the party or dressing up as a Native American at another party.

“But then there’s also people messaging me saying ‘You know, you’ve done nothing wrong, don’t listen to people,’” Rachael continued. “I think that the first big step in all of this is white people stepping up and taking accountability. Things will never change if we don’t all work together in working towards this racial progress and this unity that we want.”

Rachael also told those people that are defending her to “please stop.”

“If you are in my comments or defending me anywhere telling people that I did nothing wrong, that there’s nothing to be hurt about, there’s nothing to be angry about or offended about, please stop,” Rachael said. “That’s not our place to tell people what they can and can’t be offended about. That’s wrong and that’s part of the problem.”

“So please stop saying that I did nothing wrong. That’s not true,” Rachael said, adding that instead people should “encourage others around you to do better.”

Rachael‘s video comes a few days after current Bachelor Matt James spoke out about her past racist actions as well as host Chris Harrison‘s decision to step away from the franchise after he faced backlash for defending Rachael against the “woke police.”

ABC also recently discussed the future of theBachelor franchise amid the ongoing racial controversy.

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