After being spotted together for the first time since their break-up and on-screen confrontation during The Bachelor’s After The Final Rose special, Matt and Rachael claim their recent reunion was simply an outing between friends.
“Matt and Rachael are not back together,” a source close to James told Page Six. “They are working on building a friendship outside of the show and away from the noise. The past few months have been extremely difficult for Matt.”
The source went on to say, “He is not ready to throw himself into a relationship right now.”
Fans were shocked earlier this week when rumors circulated that James and Kirkconnell were back on following Kirkconnell’s racist controversy and their subsequent break-up. Photos of the pair appeared in an Instagram Story by Deuxmoi on Tuesday, sparking rumors of reconciliation. Both James and Kirkconnell had their backs turned away from the cameras while strolling through Williamsburg, Brooklyn together.
This was followed by a cryptic tweet from Reality Steve, who claimed the love story between the two wasn’t over just yet.
Allegations of Rachael Kirkconnell’s racially insensitive behavior on social media came to light after last season of the Bachelor taped, which included photos of her attending an antebellum-themed party in college.
In February, Kirkconnell spoke out amid the backlash, writing in a statement on Instagram: “At one point, I didn’t recognize how offensive and racist my actions were, but that doesn’t excuse them. My age or when it happened does not excuse anything. They are not acceptable or okay in any sense. I was ignorant, but my ignorance was racist.”
A month later, James confirmed that he and Kirkconnell were no longer together.