“The Bachelor SA’s” Lee Thompson has finally opened up about the good, the bad and the ugly truth of reality TV in his debut book “The Truth Behind The Rose”.
Thompson was South Africa’s first season bachelor who won over the hearts of fans and the 24 contestants vying for his heart.
Almost two years later, Thompson claims the show left him traumatised as he battled with mental health issues after the show, which affected his businesses and love life.
In a recent interview with Gareth Cliff on “Cliff Central”, Thompson said he had true intentions of finding love on joining the show, but thought the production company, Rapid Blue set him up with “low quality” women.
“I was in there fully committed to try and find a partner to spend the rest of my life with. That was my main goal. There is no doubt about that. I thought that M-Net and Rapid Blue would come up with really good options for me,” said Thompson.
When Cliff asked Thompson if he thought the women were of “low quality”, Thompson replied: “A lot of them yeah”.
He said although the show had benefits for him like exposure and business ventures which had worked in his favour, it still took a toll on him mentally and emotionally after the show.
“I struggled with it after the show, probably only until recently I am only starting to get over a few things,” said Thompson.
“There were certain situations where I was manipulated, persuaded into selecting certain women and keeping them on the show, where I would have wanted that person out.
“I think I should have spoken up a bit more and stood my ground, but when you are in the bachelor bubble, you are so easily influenced and manipulated it’s hard not to go with what they are doing and what they are trying to make you do,” said Thompson.
During the interview he revealed his relationship with his mother was spoiled and he did fall in love with the last two women on the show, Gina Meyers and Jozaan Digue.
He dated Meyers for a month after filming ended before she stopped talking to him.
Thompson also said he was currently dating a 37-year-old woman, who had asked to remain anonymous and away from the public eye.
“Now that the dust has settled and I’ve watched the show and gone through what I have, I do see things a little bit differently and there may be different decisions I would have made and different choices that would have happened,” he said.
In his book, Thompson said he went deeper into the issues he faced and the manipulation, lies and deceit that went on in the show.
“As well as my childhood and the situation that led up to the show which caused these mental issues afterwards.
“All the brainwashing and manipulation on the show, that really took a toll on me. I’ll be speaking about some of the women in the book as well.
“Putting a lot of the false rumours to bed. My book will take this huge weight off my shoulders which I’ve been carrying around for some time now,” said Thompson.
Watch the full interview here: