Faced with an onslaught of harassment and negativity, former "Bachelorette" star Rachel Lindsay has deleted her Instagram account. But there’s one person who is staying on the app and fighting her corner: husband Bryan Abasolo.
“I love you, I appreciate you, I believe in you and I just wanted to let you know how proud of you I am,” Abasolo posted to Instagram Friday. “Keep going and never stop being you and fighting for what’s right.”
Lindsay’s deletion of her Instagram account was confirmed Friday by her “Higher Learning” podcast co-host Van Lathan. He said she deleted it because “that's how much hate she's getting from 'Bachelor' fans, who are spamming her with all kinds of rude, hateful things to say.”
Lindsay has been the target of angry fans of the "Bachelor" franchise following an interview she conducted with host Chris Harrison. In it, Harrison defended current bachelorette Rachael Kirkconnell, who faced criticism after photos surfaced showing her at a plantation-themed fraternity event, as well wearing Native American attire as a costume.
After the interview sparked backlash, Harrison announced he’d be “stepping aside for a period of time.”
That apparently incensed Bachelor Nation, and fans of the show took their anger directly to Lindsay’s Instagram account. Lindsay, who was the franchise's first-ever Black lead, and became engaged to Abasolo on the show in 2017, has spoken previously about the love-hate relationship she has with the franchise.
“My entire reason for doing 'The Bachelorette' — and I was lucky it worked out for me in the most beautiful way, in finding Bryan — is that I wanted to be representative as a Black woman to this audience,” she said on her podcast earlier this month. “I said I was going to leave if they didn't have leads of color. Okay, they did that, and they made some other changes. They hired a diversity consultant... did Chris Harrison not sit through that?"
Abasolo said he was disappointed in Harrison's comments during the "Extra" interview, and told "Bachelor Nation," a YouTube channel from the producers of franchise, that he's lost respect for Harrison.
“I thought what he said was irresponsible, it was hurtful, it was flat-out unacceptable,” Abasolo said, asking, "Is this how everybody at the top feels? I hope that it isn't the case but it's like... this is the figurehead."
Many participants and former stars of the franchise have publicly defended and supported Lindsay, including 25 BIPOC contestants from season 25, which is currently airing and features Matt James, the first Black “Bachelor” lead in the show’s history.?
Abasolo posted a message of gratitude for the support Friday, sharing a note on his Instagram stories saying “to acknowledge and thank everyone who has reached out to me to express their love and support for Rachel. We see you.