The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart may follow a different format than The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, but the “villain” role remains the same. And as Julia Rae’s drama with Sheridan Reed, Savannah McKinley and Brandon Mills plays out on the spinoff, she’s found herself the target of some serious online hate.
“I understand why people feel the need to say their opinion to me because I too cringe watching much of the episodes,” Julia says exclusively on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast, noting that her personality “didn’t translate at all” on TV. “I did not have malicious intent when I said those things. I certainly understand why it came across that way. I definitely misdirected my frustration to Savannah and I apologize to her immediately when we were done filming because I felt really bad for that, but the haters have been real and honestly cyberbullying is not OK.”
Julia came under fire as she struggled to decide between Sheridan, who she initially connected with, and Brandon, who was involved with Savannah, on the series.
“I have received vicious messages, telling me to go jump off a bridge. And honestly, these have been really dark days for me to kind of bring myself out of that,” she explained. “And I think right now, especially with COVID-19, and everyone at home, I think we’re all craving human connection. And I think that is a huge part of why cyberbullying might be more intense right now. But I’m certainly trying to keep perspective. I feel misunderstood. I certainly know where I did wrong, and I own up to that, but I also think there’s so much that people don’t see.”
After Savannah and Sheridan left during the Monday, May 4, episode, Julia and Brandon gave their romance a shot, but it didn’t last.
“I never should have left Sheridan. You know, that is a deep, deep regret,” she says on the podcast. “I think honestly, we had this amazing connection both intimately in a relationship and also musically, and I think we could have gone all the way because of that, and unfortunately, my heart was so torn to not be able to see that clearly.”
For more from Julia — including when she last spoke to Sheridan and details of her drama with Natascha Bessez — listen to Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast.