In a departure from the romantic fluff on “The Bachelor,” contestant Caelynn Miller-Keyes shared her Me Too story on the reality series Monday.
Miller-Keyes, a former Miss North Carolina who was the runner-up in the Miss USA 2018 pageant, confided to “Bachelor” star Colton Underwood that she was a victim of sexual assault while attending a fraternity party in college.
“They drugged our wine,” she told Underwood. “I woke up the next morning and I was completely naked in my bed and had no memory of the night before. I had a small vision of a guy in my bed and I just had this pit in my stomach that something really bad happened last night. My girlfriend called me and said three of us were all sexually assaulted.”
The 23-year-old said a girlfriend who did not drink that night told her that not only was Miller-Keyes raped, another guy lifted up her dress and took photos of her and shared them on Snapchat.
An emotional Miller-Keyes recounted her difficulties in getting a rape kit done at a hospital and reporting the assault. By the time she spoke with police, the results proved inconclusive because too much time had passed, she said. One suspect was expelled and the rest got away with it, she added.
“I can’t even imagine going through something like that,” Underwood said in response. “I know talking about it is not easy. The fact that that happened to you is devastating.”
“I was determined to get justice and seek justice,” she told Underwood. “It’s something that will always be a part of me. I struggled with the shame and guilt that I had felt. It’s the most difficult thing in the world. It’s so painful and it screws up every ounce of you.”
The conversation eventually gave way to a PSA for sexual assault victims.
After the episode aired, Miller-Keyes, who previously addressed the assault in an intro bio for Miss USA, thanked “Bachelor” viewers for their support on Twitter. “And to all of the fellow survivors out there, I want you to know your voice matters and you deserve to be heard.”
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.