So…Matt James Confirmed He's "Pursuing" a Relationship With Rachael Kirkconnell

Matt James’s season of The Bachelor had a less than stellar ending after his winning contestant Rachael Kirkconnell became embroiled in a controversy that shook Bachelor Nation to its core. Back in February, pictures of Rachael attending an antebellum “Old South”-themed party—which, BTW, completely glorifies racism and white supremacy—made the rounds before the season even wrapped. The controversy ultimately caused Rachael and Matt to end their relationship, but nearly three months after the mess came to light, Matt is now revealing he just *might* be back with Rachael despite everything that went down.

Speaking with People, Matt confirmed that recent reports of him spending time with Rachael are indeed true. “I’ve seen Rachael a handful of times…I’m not pursuing any relationships right now outside of that,” he said, likely referring to those Grace Amerling dating claims. “I said I was going to focus on my relationship with her and that means focusing on it.”

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Though Matt didn’t say anything about the work Rachael is doing to educate herself about racism, Matt spoke at length during the After the Final Rose special about how he felt about those pictures of Rachael coming out and why it made him question their relationship: “It was in the context of you not fully understanding my Blackness and what it means to be a Black man in America and what it would mean for our kids when I saw those things that were floating around the internet,” Matt said, adding that he and Rachael “can’t be in a relationship” because Rachael needed to work on herself without his help.

Rachael has yet to make a comment on the matter, but an Us Weekly source claims she and Matt have “been working on their relationship privately over the past few months and taking the next steps to get back together” and “they spoke and FaceTimed daily” before she spent time with him in New York City.

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