The Bachelorette's Meredith Phillips Says She Was Drugged and Sexually Assaulted During the Show's Filming

Illustration for article titled The Bachelorette's Meredith Phillips Says She Was Drugged and Sexually Assaulted During the Show's Filming
Image: ABC

Meredith Phillips, the star of ABC reality series The Bachelorette’s second season in 2004 (production took place in 2003), claimed on Wednesday that she was sexually assaulted by a female masseuse during filming of the show.

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Phillips alleged during the course of a podcast with Steve Carbone (aka Reality Steve) that she was assaulted by a woman whom producers brought in after she’d complained of fatigue. Phillips said of the alleged attack:

“She was hired to give me a massage and she said, ‘I’m going to give you a pill.’ I just assumed it was an aspirin or something to loosen up my back or a Tylenol or something, and it wasn’t that, that’s for sure. The last thing I remember is she got naked and she was in the tub with me rubbing my back and rubbing areas that probably she shouldn’t have. Then I was put in bed. I woke up naked. Don’t remember much. I wasn’t even drinking.”

According to Phillips, the alleged incident occurred in Los Angeles’ “Bachelorette Mansion,” where the show was being taped. She said she debated whether to speak up in the immediate aftermath, and ultimately decided against it. “I didn’t speak of it until later,” Phillips said, “because I felt weird about it and I felt violated, so I didn’t know what to say or how to say it. I mean, how do you bring that up? I have kind of held it in for a long time, because in a weird way, I wanted to protect the franchise.”

E! News reported that ABC and Warner Bros. Television (the show’s production company) have not yet commented on Phillips’ accusations. Last summer, Warner Bros. launched an investigation into an accusation of sexual misconduct on the Bachelor in Paradise set. The investigation did not turn up any misconduct, and the show resumed filming.

contributing writer, nights

DISCUSSION

ladysaur
Rando Calrissian

“I have kind of held it in for a long time, because in a weird way, I wanted to protect the franchise.”

It’s awful that she felt that that was her job or she was somehow taking one for the team. I fucking hate how institutional loyalty creates this feeling in us that we would hurt something bigger than ourselves by coming forward. And I bet that the Bachelorette indoctrinates participants with a lot of “this is really special, this thing is special, you’re special but not as special as this thing that you are being allowed to participate in just this once so you better crush all the other participants so you get to keep it longer” cultish talk that you see sometimes among sales groups. That sort of set-up—this organisation is so special! we’re magical!—makes it much harder for people to seek justice and harder for their peers to listen to them when they do.

If the organisation gets so damaged by us seeking justice—either by them mismanaging what happens next or just being a total shitshow to begin with—then it’s probably not worth a damn to begin with.

Ugh, this poor lady! She didn’t need that mindfuck on top of what happened.