Ben Higgins Owns Up to His Failure in Standing Up for Olivia Caridi on ‘The Bachelor’

‘The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons – Ever!’ host Chris Harrison also issues an apology to the season 20 alum who admitted to being ashamed of herself after being portrayed as a villain on the show.

AceShowbizBen Higgins is trying to make amend with one of the most memorable contestants on his season of “The Bachelor“. When Olivia Caridi made an appearance on the Monday, June 22, episode of “The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons – Ever!“, the Bachelor Nation alum joined in to express his regret for not standing up for her.

Speaking to the former news anchor via video chat, the season 20 lead stated, “As I look back on that time, I think my lack of wisdom and maturity in standing up for you publicly while I knew this was hard for you.” He added, “I think the way I navigated the confrontations and the issues on the show could have been better to help you. But mostly I just wanted to speak to you and say ‘I’m sorry.’ “

Higgins then sent a special message to viewers. “Come on. This girl is a rock star. She laid her heart on the line for love and she tried her best. And you know what? Yes, it didn’t come off perfectly all the time, but none of us did,” he pleaded. “And that’s the beauty of the show is we lay our hearts out there and we do things to make people laugh and to join in on this experience and that’s what Olivia did.”

“And so if we can’t wrap our arms around Olivia and say, ‘Well done, and we’ll lift you up, and we’re just happy you did this,’ then you’re crazy,” the 31-year-old went on to say, before once again claiming responsibility for the difficulties she faced post-the show. “So, Olivia, I’m sorry. I take responsibility for this, but I also just wanna tell everybody how awesome you are.”

Caridi joined the Monday episode to share what it was like for her after being branded the villain of Higgins’ season. “I watched the first episode, and then I tried to watch the second, and I just couldn’t do it,” she told host Chris Harrison. “I was just mortified and hurt, and all these girls are saying this and that about me, and I realized this is going to be a really hard couple of months, or however long it airs.”

“There was so much pain associated with it. I felt terrible that I had hurt people. I never wanted to, but obviously it was clear that I did, and so that hurt,” the 27-year-old went on. “And then seeing what people really thought of me and what people were saying, that was really hard. I’m sure a lot of it was deserved, but I did feel like some of it was a little ruthless. And it affected me.”

Caridi confessed that the “making fun of my physical attributes that I can’t change” took a toll on her self-esteem. She became “ashamed of myself and embarrassed” as the season progressed. “I didn’t want to be out in public,” she recounted. “Then when I was out in public, people were [whispering]. Nothing prepares you for that.”

While admitting that the experience was awful for her, Caridi insisted that she did not regret going through it. “The person that I am now is just so resilient and empathetic and compassionate towards all people. It’s been four years and I have struggled hard to become the person that I am today, but I am proud,” she said, “and I’m not ashamed anymore, because I know that I’m not that person.”

Caridi’s candid confession prompted Harrison to also issue an apology of his own. “I hate to hear this,” the 48-year-old TV host stated. “I truly am sorry that you had to go through this and that you did go through this.”

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