Chris Harrison Says He Lost 20 Pounds, Was ‘Scared to Death’ After ‘Bachelor’ Exit

Chris Harrison The Bachelor Season 25 Gallery
ABC/Craig Sjodin

In the premiere episode of his new podcast, The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever, Chris Harrison, former host of ABC’s The Bachelor franchise opened up about what happened after he left his longtime emcee gig in 2021.

At the time, Harrison was heavily criticized for defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, who also faced criticism for resurfaced photos showing her attending an “Old South” ball in college in 2018. In the podcast, which premiered on January 9, Harrison shares he was “sick to my stomach” over the situation.

“I lost 20 pounds. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t eat. I was scared to death not of my job but of my family – my fiancé [Lauren Zima], my kids. I’m a bit of an empath and I am very loyal to a fault and I am a team player,” he opens up.

“When this happened, while I was sick to my stomach and so disappointed that the interview went that way and it was on me because I controlled what I had to say. And while the point I was trying to get across I stand by, the way I did it was messy and disappointing and it’s just not me,” he continues.

The TV host becomes choked up in speaking about his brother who wrote an open letter to the world defending Harrison. He explained to his brother that he couldn’t have him “take another casualty in the family and be followed by paparazzi like he was.”

Harrison requested that his brother take the letter down. Harrison said he realized at that moment that his brother was right, “that this is not what Harrisons do, and he was trying to be loyal to the show.”

This marks Harrison’s first podcast and is the first in a slate of shows he will executive producer alongside his Zima and their Next Chapter Productions for iHeartPodcasts. It is distributed by iHeartPodcasts and will be available on the iHeartRadio app and anywhere podcasts are heard.