Matt James and Rachael Kirkconnell may have reunited, but they’re not back together, according to E! News. Bachelor Nation went into a frenzy when Reality Steve reported that Matt and Rachael were in New York City together in early April, but there was reportedly no romantic reconciliation between the exes, who met on season 25 of The Bachelor. The exes “have been in touch, but are not back together,” a source told E! The site also reported that Matt and Rachael’s NYC reunion came about because she’d been “trying to reach” him, and he “finally agreed” to see her.
“Matt and Rachael are completely just friends,” E!’s insider said. “He has no intentions of dating her in the future.” Rachael was Matt’s final pick on The Bachelor, which was filmed during the fall of 2020. Although they didn’t get engaged, they left the show as a couple. As The Bachelor was airing in January and February, though, Rachael found herself at the center of a major racism controversy when controversial old photos of her surfaced online. In the pics, she was attending an antebellum-themed party.
The situation obviously took a toll on Racahel and Matt’s relationship, and on After the Final Rose in March, they revealed that they had broken up weeks earlier. Rachael apologized and took accountability for her past actions in a number of Instagram posts, as well as on After the Final Rose, but the damage had been done. “As Rachael acknowledged in her apology, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” Matt said on ATFR. “I have to take a step back and allow her to put in that work. I’m looking forward to seeing her put in that work. We’re not together.”
Matt admittedly “dismissed” the talk about Rachael’s past at first, chalking it up to Internet slander. However, when Rachael came clean, he started “questioning everything” in their relationship, he said. During a follow-up interview on Good Morning America, he also admitted to not having deep enough conversations about race with the white contestants on his season. “Hindsight is 20/20,” he shared, “But I probably should’ve asked more clarifying questions.”