Colton Underwood spills never-before-heard details about his relationship with Aly Raisman — including when she told him about being sexually abused by Larry Nassar.
During his time on The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise and The Bachelor, Colton Underwood rarely spoke about the fact that he was previously in a high profile relationship: With gymnast, Aly Raisman. However, he’s opening up about their romance three years later in his new book, The First Time. Aly and Colton got together after he asked her out via a video that went viral online during the 2016 summer Olympics, where she was competing for the United States. When she returned home, they were able to meet up a few times, and talk over FaceTime every night.
Things went well for a few months, and the pair went public with their relationship that December. However, by the beginning of January, Colton said he noticed that things were a bit off. He was keeping something big from Aly: He was broke. “My shoulder surgery, at a cost of $40,000 to me, took most of my savings,” he wrote. “The rest went for plane tickets and hotels to see Aly. I even sold my car. I loved her. I could tell her anything and everything — except that I had no money.”
Meanwhile, he soon found out that Aly was hiding something from him, too: She was one of the women who had been sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor who has since been convicted of child molestation. “She opened up to me after the  Golden Globes, in what I now appreciate as a moment of anger, strength, and defiance that was precipitated by 18 women filing a lawsuit against Michigan State University, where Nassar had been a school doctor,” Colton revealed. He added, “I wanted to find Nassar and rip his head off.”
Colton said he was by Aly’s side while she debated how to handle her past with Nassar publicly (she did not speak out until months later, after she and Colton were broken up). “Just watching her go through that was painful,” Colton admitted. “Her struggle with what had happened and the deep pain of the violation to her body and spirit and ability to trust only intensified as the case against Nassar took over the news. I felt helpless.”
Amidst all of this, Aly told Colton that she loved him in Feb. 2017 — four months after he said the ‘L’ word to her for the first time. However, things fell apart between them two weeks later, following a four-day trip to Houston. When Colton looks back on photos from that trip, he says he can see something “distant” in Aly’s eyes. She wound up breaking up with him over FaceTime the day after they parted ways.
“Aly said she felt overwhelmed, confused and in need of a break,” Colton revealed. “Afterward, I sat in my car and cried. I was numb for days. I reached out to Aly several times without getting any response to my calls or texts.” Colton spent days wondering whether or not he did something wrong, but ultimately came to the conclusion that “the reasons Aly had given [him] for the breakup were, in fact, those she had shared with [him]: She was confused and needed a break.”
He added, “She was going through a journey of personal healing and getting ready to take her fight public. She had more than enough going on in her life. And as much as the split hurt me, I decided all I could do was support her unconditionally and pray she could one day heal those wounds and make sure she knew I would always treasure the time we did have together.”