Usually-accurate purveyor of Bachelor spoilers Reality Steve is reporting that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has been accused of sexual assault twice, appeared at a group date Tuesday during the filming of this season’s Bachelorette.
Show creator Mike Fleiss may have made a sports reference on Twitter about the date today as well.
As Broadly recently summarized: in 2009, Andrea McNulty filed a civil suit against Roethlisberger and eight employees of a Nevada hotel for rape and covering up the assault, respectively. The case was settled out of court in 2012. In 2010, an anonymous Georgia college student claimed that Roethlisberger raped her in a bathroom stall; she later asked the district attorney not to prosecute because she feared that the trial would be an “intrusive” experience. Roethlisberger was suspended by the NFL for six games, which was later reduced to four. T-shirts bearing the nickname “Rapelisberger” were sold online.
This is not the only NFL connection the show has reportedly courted this season; former player Marcellus Wiley recently tweeted (and then deleted) mentions of his appearance. Additionally, one of Bachelorette star JoJo’s suitors is Jordan Rodgers, the younger brother of Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers. After a few years as an undrafted free agent in the NFL himself, Jordan moved on to play in Canada. Now he’s reportedly trying to get into TV news (probably in sports, we can assume). Fleiss’s tweet would suggest that the date today is football themed, and that Jordan has a leg up because of that.
When reached over email, representatives from ABC declined to comment.
Images via ABC, Associated Press.