Bachelor in Paradise alum Krystal Nielson has opened up about how her divorce from Chris Randone was a "really scary" time in her life.

Krystal and Chris, who fell in love on Bachelor in Paradise's fifth season and got engaged during the 2018 finale, tied the knot in June 2019 and documented the event for Bachelor in Paradise's sixth season.


The pair announced their decision to separate on February 15, 2020, just eight months after saying "I do," and then Krystal confirmed in August 2020 that she and Chris were following through with a divorce. (Chris told Us Weekly at the time he was hoping to reconcile with Krystal but learned she had moved on).

"It was really scary... That was really tough because I felt like going on Paradise and getting matched up with someone, there was so much love and attention and celebration around our relationship. And I was like, 'Wow, being in a relationship means I'm loved.' But by myself, I was a villain," Krystal explained during a recent appearance on the "Talking It Out with Bachelor Nation" podcast hosted by Mike Johnson and Bryan Abasolo.

Krystal was dubbed "the villain" of Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s season of The Bachelor, which aired in 2018, and so her stint on Paradise was essentially an opportunity to rehab her image and allow the world to see her true colors.

Once Krystal and Chris, a villain from Becca Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette, got together, they became a fan-favorite power couple.

"So deciding to separate and divorce, I was really afraid that outside of that relationship, I would be the villain again and I wouldn't be loved and I wouldn't be accepted -- and I would be [seen as] a failure," Krystal confessed.

"For a long time, we kind of battled on if we were going to split and when we were going to be ready. Because it was very scary for both of us, I would say. It was really hard."

Krystal recalled ending her marriage to Chris on Valentine's Day 2020, which was a couple of weeks before the coronavirus pandemic began and "everything shut down."


"That was really tough and I think I became really -- I didn't know what to say because I wanted to be respectful of my ex and at the same time kind of honor both of our grieving of what was," Krystal shared.

"And inviting the public in, because they were so invested in our relationship, was really challenging to navigate. I really didn't know how because I needed privacy, but yet still felt this duty to share that with all the fans of the show."

Krystal said navigating her divorce in the public eye was "really tricky," adding, "I just felt like I really pulled back for a while because I wasn't really sure what to say."

Krystal reportedly began dating her current boyfriend, Miles Bowles, in May 2020, and so she previously said in a YouTube video that discovering she was pregnant in early August 2020 was "f-cking bananas."

Krystal admitted during a December 2020 appearance on the "Scheananigans with Scheana Shay" podcast that "it was scary" to find out she was pregnant because she and Miles had only been dating for about four months at that point. She was also still legally wrapped up in her marriage to Chris.

"There was a divorce that happened, there was a pandemic that happened, then I found out I was going to be a mom, so there was so much going on that I really just shut down," Krystal said.

"At the time, I stepped away from my business and there was a point when I was down to my last month of being able to pay my bills and I still had my staff running but not taking a paycheck. I was two months pregnant and there was so much stress and pressure, so I had to take a step back to reevaluate and rebuild."

Krystal admitted she felt so much "pressure" to "perform high and do things so over the top" to prove to others that she had been "living it up."

"But really, it was very frivolous and wasn't for the right reasons. As I was rebuilding my life and my family coming out of this pandemic, I just found what was important to me and where I wanted to put my time, money, and energy into," Krystal said.

Krystal and Miles welcomed a baby girl, daughter Andara Rose, on March 31, 2021, and Chris actually reached out to his ex-wife at the time to congratulate her.


Krystal claimed she now feels comfortable in her own skin and has now come a long way since feeling ashamed of herself during and after her first The Bachelor appearance.

"I felt so rejected, unloved, and unseen for who I really was. And it was so frustrating to be like, 'This is who I really am. [Me on TV] is not, that's just a curated version, not me,'" Krystal told Mike and Bryan on their podcast.

"Looking back, there was so much to unpack there. But it was, in hindsight, such a tough season of my life, but so beautiful because it became this huge mirror in which I could really see where I was not being authentic."

Krystal said she wasn't her true self on The Bachelor and it took her a while to realize that people would still love her for her imperfections and hardships.

She recalled her Bachelor in Paradise stint "a second chance" and a way to redeem herself.

"I was able to really see the beauty in becoming vulnerable and breaking down my shell. And so Paradise, I was like, 'I don't care if I go home on Day 1. I'm going to be me, I'm going to show up, and I'm going to have fun. And what happens, happens,'" Krystal said.

Krystal said she threw out the rulebook and that "really transformed" her whole life and cracked her open; however, Krystal needed more time to discover that she'd be loved on her own and not just loved for being in a romance with Chris.

Krystal and Chris' breakup came as a shock to fans because Chris had told Us in August 2019 that Krystal had decided to stop using birth control and they wanted to start trying for a family in early 2020.

People previously reported that Chris and Krystal's personalities didn't mesh at all and they weren't on the same page about what they want out of life.

The couple reportedly wasn't ready to get married but felt "immense pressure" to give Bachelor Nation the happy ending they had been waiting for.


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About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.