Matt and Rachael briefly split in February 2021 when racially-ignorant and racially-insensitive photos from Rachael's past resurfaced online, including a 2018 image of Rachael attending an antebellum-themed "Old South" party at her Georgia college with sorority sisters.
Rachael issued multiple apologies on social media at the time, but Matt explained on The Bachelor: After the Final Rose in March 2021 that he wanted to give Rachael some time to educate herself on racism in society and gain awareness.
Matt apparently needed to know that Rachael could support him and truly understand his perspective as a Black man in America.
During that separation and area of "gray" in Rachael and Matt's tumultuous relationship, Matt admitted in his upcoming memoir, "First Impressions" -- which is set to be released in May 2022 -- that he wrongly took advantage of his time away from Rachael.
"I returned to bouncing around the country on a post-Bachelor tour. New York, L.A., Miami in a dizzying loop, with other cities sprinkled in between," Matt writes in an excerpt of the book obtained byCosmopolitan magazine.
"Rachael and I still had plenty of work left to do. There were many FaceTimes after ATFR. Nightly. For hours. There were uncertainty, understanding, and an ultimatum."
He continues, "I took advantage of our undefined, gray space and reconnected with former flings."
While Matt was clearly still connected to and texting with Rachel, he spent time in Miami, FL, in early April and reached out to a girl named Grace whom he had previously dated, according to Grace, who told her story in an Instagram Live session at the time.
Matt allegedly texted Grace to come see him before he left Florida allegedly knowing Rachael would be visiting him in New York "not as friends" about 48 hours later.
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"He has a past with Grace. That past, once he was with Rachael, never overlapped because he basically ghosted Grace once he got on [The Bachelor]... But after Matt and Rachael broke up around Valentine's Day, he immediately hit Grace back up... [for a booty call]. Let's call it what it is," Reality Steve spoiler blogger Steve Carbone reported at the time.
Grace, however, reportedly turned down Matt's invitation to hang out and potentially hook up, and she called Rachael a "victim" and claimed Matt had been two-timing her.
"It's just not okay... I hope [Rachael] finds someone better... At a certain point when you start changing your character and lying and gaslighting and doing all of these things to protect your image and your fame, that's sort of when I have an issue," Grace said in her Instagram Live video.
Matt apparently has some regrets about how he had handled himself after his February split from Rachael.
"I knew I had something special with Rachael and thought we might soon come back together," Matt reportedly writes in his book.
"I wanted to make sure I didn't still have lingering feelings for others I'd known before taking that step. It was a mistake. Rachael got wind and was justifiably hurt and feeling betrayed."
Matt recalled Rachael giving him an ultimatum after Matt was allegedly caught messing around.
"[Rachael said], 'I know we're not together right now, but I thought we were building toward something. You need to decide if that is what you want or not. I won't be just another girl you're talking to,'" Matt recalls, according to Cosmo.
"After that, there was silence. More painful silence. She stormed out of my life for the last time, I thought."
But Rachael ended up forgiving Matt during a subsequent April 2021 weekend in Atlanta. Matt allegedly told Rachael that his interactions with Grace and any other women meant nothing to him and he truly loved and cared about her.
"She told me we had nothing to talk about. I pleaded, coaxed, and convinced. She relented. We met in the parking garage in her car, far from the public eye," Matt reveals in his book.
"We talked for four hours in that car about all of the issues that had kept us apartâ€”her mistakes, my mistakes, insecurities, family drama, public perception, and everything else under the sun."
"I decided to be better going forward. She had done self-work that I hadn't reciprocated. I promised her that I was all in. It was the best decision I could have made," he concluded.