Updated December 18, 2020:
In the report, the previously unnamed accuser is revealed to be a woman named Lauren, and alleges that Nwachukwu, who went to high school with her, sexually assaulted her at a New Year's Eve party nearly a decade ago when she was an 18-year-old high school student and he was a college sophomore.
Lauren said her friend had originally reached out directly to Bachelorette producers through a feedback form when the Season 16 contestants were announced in July, but never heard back. When the show premiered on October 13, she and the same friend tweeted about her alleged assault (she later deleted them to retain her privacy). “It’s that ~eazy~ for him to take advantage of women without their consent, too,” Lauren tweeted. “All I want is to not relive my trauma over and over again by letting this man exist on a public sphere.” Her friend tweeted: “Not watching @BacheloretteABC this season bc they have an actual rapist on,” and tagged Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss, host Chris Harrison, ABC’s Senior Vice President of Alternative Programming Rob Mills, Bachelorette Clare Crawley, as well as Nwachukwu.
A few days later, on October 21, Lauren was contacted by a lawyer named Ann Calfas, who was hired by ABC and Bachelorette production to “discuss the issue” Lauren had reported. Lauren provided her with details of the alleged assault, as well as screenshots of Twitter DMs from women who claimed they previously had been involved with Nwachukwu (one wrote that the sports marketing agent as "consent issues" and another said Lauren's tweets had made "so much sense" to her). Lauren also provided photos from the New Year’s Eve party where the incident allegedly occurred, and a copy of the generic email that her friend had received from ABC in after she reached out in July. In mid-November, Calfas told Lauren that after speaking to Nwachukwu and two friends who were allegedly present at the party, the investigation had been deemed “inconclusive.”
Refinery29 reached out to ABC and Nwachukwu for comment.
Sexual harassment attorney Jessica Westerman told HuffPost that this was probably a cursory investigation: the fact that filming for the season had already wrapped, Nwachukwu had no criminal conviction, and that incident had occurred outside of the Bachelor sphere makes the situation much less clear cut, and saying nothing would be their safest bet. “In my experience, this is what happens every time,” she said.
However, even though Nwachukwu was cut by Adams after their one-on-one in the December 1st episode, his time on the show was generally viewed positively, and his Instagram following has grown to over 100,000. The fact that his popularity has grown, and that there could be a chance that he'd be cast in spinoff Bachelor In Paradise, is the main reason why Lauren resorted to speaking out and sharing her story publicly.
“I don’t want money; I don’t want fame,” she told HuffPost. “I just want him to be taken [out] of the public realm where he has access to a plethora of vulnerable women.”
Since the alleged incident, Lauren said she has suffered over a decade of trauma and PTSD. Lauren went to rehab after medicating herself with Xanax in order to deal with flashbacks and panic attacks; her boyfriend told HuffPost that she still is often triggered by physical touch.
“There is no such thing as justice when it comes to sexual assault,” Lauren said, “because the last nine years have been me fighting demons. No amount of money, fame, recognition or punishment will take that back.”
This story was originally published on December 1, 2020.
During the Bachelorette premiere, Nwachukwu introduced himself to Clare Crawley running through a giant sign that read "your future husband," a nod to his high school football playing days. Immediately, host Chris Harrison noted that the funnyman would become a "fan favorite." However, an unidentified woman revealed soon after in a thread of since-deleted tweets (at the recommendation of her lawyers) that she had a non-consensual sexual encounter with Nwachukwu. “I will not stand by quietly anymore, while this aggressor is paraded around on this show as a ‘stand up guy’ or as the ‘comic,'” she wrote.
At the time, longtime Bachelor Nation insider Reality Steve (aka Stephen Carbone) said that he had talked to the Nwachukwu's accuser privately and assumed that the contestant would be booted from any future Bachelor franchises. "Take a good look at Eazy because I don't think you'll be seeing him in this franchise ever again," he wrote in his October 14 episode recap. "Some serious allegations against him arose on social media last night. I spoke with the woman involved. Not good, I'll leave it at that."
According to the blogger, the woman had spoken with NZK Productions's legal team, who had in turn met with Nwachukwu, "so now the show is 100% aware of allegations against him.” The accuser told Heavy that there was a lot of back and forth ("it’s he said, she said”). "I told them I spoke my truth so I can no longer carry guilt, if something happens from here, it’s not on me, it’s on them,” she said.
Those who watch the show will notice that Nwachukwu is still very much present (it was filmed this past summer), but it seems that his interactions with Crawley and Tayshia Adams (who replaced Crawley halfway through the season) have been largely cut out. This week, however, previews for the December 2 episode show that Nwachukwu will have a one-on-one date with Adams, and reveal that he's falling in love with her.
Right now there are a dozen men left, but if the numbers start to dwindle and Nwachukwu is kept around, the producers might find themselves in even more hot water. As as for a stint in the next installment of Bachelor In Paradise? "Inconclusive" investigation or not, we're sure Bachelor Nation has other options.