Over the weekend, news broke that Cassie Randolph, winner of season 23 of The Bachelor, filed a temporary restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, former Bachelor Colton Underwood. The order came months after the pair broke up, in Spring of 2020, and she cited “Domestic Violence Prevention” as the cause. On Monday, a judge approved her request, which requires Underwood stay 100 feet away from Randolph and prohibits him from contacting her, E! reports.
E! News acquired the order, and the details are disturbing. “Since their breakup, Mr. Underwood has been stalking and harassing Ms. Randolph,” the written statement begins. “He has sent her unsettling text messages, repeatedly called her, and placed a tracking device on her vehicle to track her whereabouts.”
Throughout the document, Randolph gives detailed examples of those behaviors: she alleges her brother saw Underwood “in the alley outside Ms. Randolph’s bedroom window at two in the morning,” one night in July when she was visiting family. When asked about it, “Mr. Underwood sent harassing text messages to Ms. Randolph, Ms. Randolph’s best friend, Linda Salas, and Ms. Randolph’s younger brother,” the filing reads. “Since then, Mr. Underwood has been seen by Ms. Randolph’s family, neighbors and friends of the family hanging around Ms. Randolph’s family home in Huntington Beach and on the street near the home.”
Randolph also claimed Underwood would “watch” her post-breakup. “Mr. Underwood admitted to his roommate and his roommate’s girlfriend (who is also Ms. Randolph’s friend) that he goes on multiple walks a day to Ms. Randolph’s apartment building,” the report continues.
The following month, Underwood allegedly “used alias phone numbers to anonymously send harassing text messages at all hours of the day to Ms. Randolph and to her friends. Mr. Underwood also sent harassing text messages to himself pretending to also be a victim of the anonymous stalker... He later admitted to being the one sending the messages,” the report states. Around the same time, Underwood allegedly put a tracking device on her car.
Representatives for Underwood have yet to make a public statement.
These allegations suggest a concerning pattern of abusive behavior that looks to be escalating. It’s hard to read these scenes and not think of how Underwood and Randolph got together in the first place: after an unremarkable season of the Bachelor in which she failed to reciprocate his feelings, and so he hunted her down days after she broke up with him. With cameras in their face, and Bachelor producers clamoring for a “fight for love” story, Underwood told Randolph he loved her and she repeated it back to him in a tone many women are familiar with—a language of niceties we’ve have been socialized to regurgitate, even if they do not immediately reflect our beliefs. That is not to say I doubt the legitimacy of the relationship that followed, only that Underwood had already appeared to demonstrate a willingness to disrespect boundaries before.
According to US Weekly, prior to Randolph’s filing, she and Underwood were filming a reality show together “about their lives post-breakup,” a source said. “They were in production all summer. However, they both had since pulled out.” I can’t imagine how uncomfortable that must’ve been.
The temporary restraining order expires October 6, when a hearing for future action will take place.