Coming out wasn’t an easy process for Colton Underwood.

The former “Bachelor” star is on the cover of the new Variety, and in the issue he reveals that he was blackmailed in the year prior to revealing to the world that he is gay.

“I’ll just say it: I, at one point, during my rock bottom and spiral, was getting blackmailed. Nobody knows I was blackmailed,” he says.

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He explains that last year he secretly visited a Los Angeles spa known as a hotspot for gay clientele, and that shortly afterward he received an anonymous email threatening him, claiming nude photos had been taken of him at the venue.

Saying that he went to the spa “just to look,” and that he “should have never been there,” Underwood worried that he would be outed to the public.

“I knew that out of anybody in my world, my publicist wasn’t going to ruin me,” he says of taking the threat to his publicist.

Underwood also responds to allegations that he stalked former co-star and ex-girlfriend Cassie Randolph.

“I did not physically touch or physically abuse Cassie in any way, shape or form,” he says. “I never want people to think that I’m coming out to change the narrative, or to brush over and not take responsibility for my actions, and now that I have this gay life that I don’t have to address my past as a straight man. Controlling situations to try to grasp at any part of the straight fantasy that I was trying to live out was so wrong.”

He explains that after he and Randolph split, he was in “such a dark place,” and he now apologizes for his behaviour in the aftermath.

“It’s not who I am as a human being, and it’s not how I carry myself,” Underwood says. “If there was anything I could do to take more ownership, I would. But also, out of respect to her, I don’t want to get into the details. I want this interview to be the last time I address her, because it’s not fair for her to have her name in articles every time I talk. I’m sorry, and I want her to know that I hope she has the best, most beautiful life.”

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Underwood also reveals that he did hook up with men prior to appearing on “The Bachelor”.

“I’ll say this,” he begins, “I was ‘the Virgin Bachelor’ but I did experiment with men prior to being on ‘The Bachelorette’.”

Though he adds, “When I say ‘hookups’, not sex. I want to make that very clear that I did not have sex with a man, prior to that.”

He also describes his worry that one of his hookups might reveal his sexual orientation.

“I remember feeling so guilty, like ‘What the hell am I doing?’” he says of the encounters. “It was my first time letting myself even go there, so much so that I was like, ‘I need “The Bachelorette” in my life, so I could be straight.’”