Chris Harrison has said a lot ever since announcing his leave from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
But now it sounds like the host is set to let someone else do the talking.
And it may mean we’re in for a rather ugly situation moving forward.
According to multiple insiders, Harrison has retained a high-powered attorney named Bryan Freedman, the same lawyer who represented Gabrielle Union in her recent dispute with America’s Got Talent at NBC.
We have no other information at this time.
But not a ton more is needed in order to connect some dots, you know?
Harrison stepped into scalding hot water in early February when he leaped to the defense of Season 25 suitor Rachael Kirkconnell after a number of her past social media posts were exposed.
The long-time host asked folks to show Kirkconnell “grace and compassion,” while somehow arguing that her attendance at a plantation-themed party in 2018 may look like a big deal now…
… but wasn’t a big deal back then.
Harrison proceeed to apologize and said he was temporarily stepping aside as host of the franchise.
From there, Emmanuel Acho was chosen to replace Harrison as host of the After the Final Rose special, interviewing Matt James about his decision to dump Kirkconnell due to these questionable decisions and actions.
Harrison, meanwhile, appeared on Good Morning America, apologized some more – to Rachel Lindsay in particular and Black people in general – and emphasized that he planned to return as host.
And perhaps he still will someday.
However, ABC has confirmed that Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe will emcee the next new season of The Bachelorette.
Now, a week later… Harrison has hired a new legal team.
Is he considering a wrongful termination lawsuit?
It seems unlikely because he hasn’t been fired; heck, he’s the one who resigned from his past via Instagram.
Is he considering a defamation of character-type of lawsuit?
This also seems rather unlikely because a) It’s exceptionally hard for a public figure to win a suit based on these grounds; and b) ABC has not said anything negative about Harrison in public.
“Chris Harrison will not be hosting the next season of The Bachelorette,” Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment said in a joint statement on March 13, adding simply:
“We support Chris in the work that he is committed to doing.”
As cited above, however, Freedman represented Union after she alleged a “toxic environment” on America’s Got Talent and had been let go as a judge on the program.
The case was settled in September.
Last June, Freedman, had filed a complaint with California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing on Union’s behalf, after NBC had wrapped its own investigation.
“Chris has had a spotless record for 20 years,” a friend told Page Six after this lawyer was hired.
“He has always been the good company man.”
“But, after the way he’s been treated by producers and executives over the past couple of weeks, he’s run out of cheeks to turn.”
It’s not immediately clear what that means, or if he’s simply retaining counsel in the event that he may explore his options.
Concludes this source:
“Now he’s ready to tell the truth about how things really work over there — and he has plenty of evidence to back him up.”
In other words?
Buckle up, Bachelor Nation.