Vanessa Grimaldi won Nick Viall’s heart and hand on The Bachelor — well, until they broke up, anyway. But the thing about winning a competition is that some people make friends along the way, and others make enemies.
It’s been rumored for a long time that Rachel Lindsay was among the enemies that Vanessa made. Or, at the very least, that the two of them didn’t get along.
This week, Danielle Lombard confirmed that the two didn’t like each other. And Rachel Lindsay is providing even more details.
So, earlier this week, the stunningly beautiful Danielle Lombard did a Reddit AMA.
(AMA means Ask Me Anything, by the way)
You’d expect the standard questions about Danielle Lombard and Dean Unglert and, you know, their whole love triangle mess in Paradise.
But remember, Danielle Lombard didn’t make her Bachelor debut on Bachelor in Paradise. That’s … well, that’s not how it works.
There have been rumors for ages that Rachel and Vanessa got along about as well as two wet cats in a burlap sack.
Danielle basically confirmed it:
“Vanessa called Rachel something that was extremely derogatory. From what I heard it was bad. Vanessa had to be separated for the rest of the show.”
Obviously, that is vague but ominous.
Like, Danielle did a great job of not filling in the blank with a word that she’d heard in rumor form.
If Vanessa Grimaldi had used a slur, for example, she probably should have been removed from the show immediately.
(Rachel Lindsay was the first-ever black Bachelorette, and remember that there was even a racist contestant within her own season)
Naturally, everyone wanted to know what exactly was said, but Danielle was relying upon hearsay even to tell that much.
She didn’t want to put words into anybody’s mouth.
Thankfully, Rachel Lindsay was willing to at last break her silence on the conflict.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Rachel Lindsay shares exactly what went on between her and Vanessa.
“One thing I know about Danielle [Lombard] is that she’s not a liar.”
That’s a great way to start off.
“But I do want to set the record straight on what happened between Vanessa and I.”
That should be “Vanessa and me,” but that’s beside the point.
“Being in the Bachelor mansion is a true test of your character. It’s a high-stress, low-sleep situation, and I learned all I needed to know about Vanessa during that time.”
We can only imagine.
Rachel says that she avoided Vanessa in order to avoid drama, but that it didn’t quite work out and that Vanessa pulled her aside and confronted her.
“Vanessa told me that I used ‘aggressive’ tones with her, and I was very upset by that.”
If you’re not aware, words like “bossy” and “aggressive” are thrown at black women as a way of exploiting stereotypes. People using those words usually hope to make the women shut down and be quiet out of fear of “confirming” stereotypes. It’s a hateful thing.
There’s no telling if Vanessa was aware of this, but Rachel certainly was.
“There are so many stereotypes placed on African-American women.”
And as for that “derogatory word” we heard about …
“She called me a ‘bully’, and for her to use that phrase was offensive to me. She had no examples to match it. … I also felt as a special education teacher who works with children, she was using the word frivolously.”
That’s certainly a derogatory word to call someone, but it’s thankfully not a slur.
(That is an odd way for someone who should know better to talk … but some people are very different at work than they would be on reality television)
When Rachel Lindsay spoke to Vanessa about her behavior, Vanessa didn’t apologize but instead doubled down.
“She told me, ‘No, you’re a bully, and I told Nick that.'”
“This was an assassination on my character. After I’ve faced uphill battles for my entire life and worked to prove myself in my career. I told Nick, ‘I’m going to let bygones be bygones.'”
That was the right attitude. If she’d tried to make trouble, maybe she wouldn’t have landed her role as the Bachelorette. Maybe she wouldn’t have ended up with Bryan Abasolo.
She mentions that she waited until now to share this because of that gig, but also because Vanessa and Nick were engaged. Obviously, things have changed.
And now we know.