The Bachelor alum Matt James has dished about his 2020 scandal with Clare Crawley when she had seemingly accused him of wanting fame out of his The Bachelorette experience.

Matt, 30, was initially selected to compete for Clare Crawley's heart on The Bachelorette's sixteenth season in 2020, and ABC announced his casting in March 2020.


Only one month later, filming of The Bachelorette was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and Matt made headlines when Clare appeared to call him out for seeking publicity ahead of their stint on the show.

Clare tweeted about her initial cast of bachelors at the time, "If you are doing interviews and creating Cameo accounts before you are even on my season... you are in it for the wrong reasons... #dontwasteyourtime."

Clare didn't name any of the guys in particular, but she additionally wrote in a separate post, "Respect the opportunity you've been given. Respect the rules. Respect me."

Matt finally addressed Clare's jaw-dropping April 2020 tweets in his new book, First Impressions: Off Screen Conversations with a Bachelor on Race, Family, and Forgiveness, which was released on Tuesday, May 3.

Matt wrote how he was on the Cameo app in early 2021 to raise money for charity amid his The Bachelorette casting and "the sentiment backfired," according to Us Weekly.

"On Twitter, Bachelor Nation quickly pounced, rushing to point out the worthy cause our work benefitted," Matt wrote in his book.

"I appreciated their support," he added, "but it was hard to take any positives away from the tiff."

Matt, however, apparently didn't lose interest in Clare at the time.

"I hadn't met Clare, yet I still held out hope that, once the world was back up and running, there might be chemistry for us to discover," Matt wrote.

But instead of appearing on The Bachelorette 16, ABC plucked Matt out of the cast and selected him to star on The Bachelor instead.


ABC officially announced Matt as The Bachelor's Season 25 star in June 2020 on Good Morning America, and his season filmed later that year and premiered in January 2021.

Matt told Us on its "Here for the Right Reasons" podcast that he didn't write about the situation with Clare in his book to be "shady."

On the contrary, Matt insisted the little scandal probably resulted in his The Bachelor gig since America was getting to know him better through all the headlines. (Matt was also pretty well known for being The Bachelorette alum Tyler Cameron's best friend).

To this day, Matt revealed he still hasn't met Clare or had any communication with her.

"I've never spoken to her my entire life," Matt said.

He concluded on the podcast, "To be judged by her or anybody to judge somebody on what they think about someone without meeting them, I don't think is the right way to go about getting to know somebody."

Matt first touched upon Clare's scathing tweets about men wrongly pursuing public attention in April 2021.

Matt appeared to respond to Clare's tweets when he clarified he was personally using the Cameo app to raise money for COVID-19 relief with his friend, New York Giants' wide receiver Alex Bachman.

"We're just coming up with creative ways to raise money for these kids that are the future and I hope y'all can help," Matt said at the time.

Clare was subsequently asked about Matt's activity on the Cameo app and reportedly wrote to a fan on Twitter about her previous angry posts, "It was about MULTIPLE men and a general thought I was having while we sit here in a real life crisis where someone's (everyone's) time + sincerity hold so much weight and value."

Clare ended up selecting Dale Moss as her The Bachelorette 16 winner only a couple of weeks into the dating process, which resulted in the show asking Tayshia Adams to take over and hopefully meet someone with the remainder of the season.


Tayshia also found love and got engaged to Zac Clark during the show's season finale.

However, neither relationship worked out and both Clare and Tayshia currently appear to be single.

For Matt's part, he selected Rachael Kirkconnell as his winner on The Bachelor's 25 season.

The couple briefly broke up in February 2021 while Matt's season was airing over racially-insensitive photos from Rachael's past that had resurfaced online, but the lovebirds got back together in April 2021 and have seemingly been inseparable ever since.

Now that it's been over a year since Matt's The Bachelor finale aired, fans are wondering if he has any plans to propose marriage to Rachael in the near future.

"I wouldn't be with someone that I wasn't considering marrying, especially at this point in my life," Matt recently said on Us' podcast.

"We've talked about living in the same city and what those next steps look like. Everything's on the table."

As far as living in the same city goes, Matt recently moved from New York City to Miami, FL.

"It's nice being down in Florida now. I think Rachael was [hesitant about] Miami before I moved down there because it's, like, the party connotation, but after spending a lot of time down there, [she's] warming up to the fact -- no pun intended -- of being down there," Matt shared of the Georgia native. "It's been a nice transition out of New York."

Matt suggested he's in no rush to tie the knot or please Bachelor Nation with a quick proposal.

"We're not putting our relationship up against somebody else. We're not doing these things to show that we're in a good space as a couple, like, we're just living our lives and just trying to be real with each other," Matt explained.

"And that's been our saving grace. It's just been doubling down on realness and leaving the phony stuff for other people to do."

He added, "It's really that simple and it's been so much fun to live life with Rachael -- that's my best friend now. It's fun and easy."

Matt apparently needed time with Rachael away from cameras so they could truly get to know each other and develop deep, sincere feelings.

"When you're in that Bachelor bubble, like, it's such an intense experience that you don't know what is and isn't real because you've got all these girls saying they love you," Matt said.

"You've got the pressure to propose to someone. And all this, like, ancillary, 'Just like do this, do this, do this.' And then for everything to happen how it [did] it's, like, 'I know how I feel. I just need to validate that.'"

Matt said he just needed to "take a step back" and make sure that those feelings were genuine -- and they were.


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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.