The Bachelor's Matt James Attends WrestleMania After Drama with Ex Rachael Kirkconnell
Matt James didn't let the latest drama with ex Rachael Kirkconnell get the best of him while attending WrestleMania in Florida over the weekend.
The former Bachelor star, 29, appeared to be in good spirits as he posed for Instagram Story photos with Bachelorette alum Jason Tartick, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella and Brie's husband, Bryan Danielson, on Saturday. The next day, James posted pics of himself posing alongside wrestler Gable Steveson and YouTuber Logan Paul.
The reality star additionally uploaded a video from a match he viewed on Sunday, which he captioned: "You gotta love it! 😂🙌🏾."
James' appearance at WrestleMania came after Grace Amerling — a woman who claimed to have previously dated him — accused him of reaching out to her before his headline-making reunion with Kirkconnell, 24, in New York City last week. During an Instagram Live with Bachelor Nation blogger Reality Steve (a.k.a. Steve Carbone), Amerling claimed that she "briefly" hung out with James early in the COVID-19 pandemic before he was later tapped to be the Bachelor. She also alleged that he attempted to get Amerling cast on the ABC series as a contestant.
Following his split from Kirkconnell in the wake of her past racially insensitive photos, Amerling claimed that she and James began casually talking again. She then alleged that the real estate broker contacted her "out of the blue" and asked that she come to Miami "for the night," which she declined because she was tired. Shortly after this alleged interaction, James sparked reconciliation rumors with Kirkconnell after they were spotted together in NYC.
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"It just didn't sit right with me. I just felt like Rachael was so in love with him and for him to be trying to contact me and hang out with me — someone he's had past romantic relationships with — two days prior in Miami … I felt like I had to say something for Rachael's sake," Amerling told Carbone on Friday. "Rachael really [is] a victim here. At some point, it's not okay."
Neither James nor Kirkconnell have publicly addressed the scandal, but a source close to the graphic designer told PEOPLE that the first Black Bachelor lead purchased a ticket for her to "stay with him" in the Big Apple. Kirkconnell visited under the belief that she would be rekindling her romance with James.
"He's been telling her he loves her and has never felt this way for anyone else before," the source said. "After the scandal, he said it would take time for them to work on themselves separately, but he wanted to get back together one day and still pictured a life for them together, with a family and everything."
The insider noted that Kirkconnell "understood why he publicly said he couldn't see a future with her because of what she had done and the responsibility he felt as the first Black Bachelor, and she supported him."
With her being flown out, the pair had agreed that "they would work on their relationship and be consistent about things — out of the public eye, until they figured everything out." Leading up to that point, they had "FaceTimed every day since March, besides one week in between the finale and After the Final Rose when they were processing the photos scandal," the source said.
After going public with their breakup, James said that he intended to remain single for the time being.
"I'm working on myself. I'm not going to be dating," he said on The Bill Simmons Podcast last month. "I'm just solely focused on getting back into that meaningful work in the community and centering myself around projects that are going to elevate all the work that I've been working on doing in the city and special interest things that I appreciate outside of reality television."
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