Bachelorette Alum Meredith Phillips Claims She Was Sexually Assaulted by Show's Female Masseuse
Meredith Phillips, star of The Bachelorette‘s season 2, is claiming a female masseuse drugged and sexually assaulted her during production of the ABC show in late 2003.
Phillips made the allegations for the first time in an episode of the Reality Steve podcast, which aired on Wednesday. PEOPLE has not independently corroborated Phillips’ claim and reps for ABC and Warner Bros. told PEOPLE they had “no comment” to share regarding her accusations.
Phillips did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for further comment.
Recalling feelings of fatigue during the filming of season 2, Phillips alleged she was “roofied” and “kind of accosted” by an unidentified female massage therapist, who she said was hired by the show.
“I just assumed it was an aspirin or something to loosen up my back, or Tylenol, or something. And it definitely wasn’t that, that’s for sure,” Phillips said during the podcast episode.
“The last thing I remember was she got naked and she was in the tub with me, and rubbing my back and rubbing areas probably she shouldn’t have. And then I was put in bed. I woke up naked. Don’t remember much,” said Phillips, who was on the fourth season of The Bachelor, starring Bob Guiney, and came in third place.
As for why she did not report the allegations during her time on the show, Phillips said she “wanted to protect the franchise, which is f—ed-up.”
Phillips, who opened up about her battle with alcoholism in June 2013, said she had not been drinking at the time of the incident.
She mentioned the incident to Reality Steve after being asked what was the “hardest thing” she “had to deal” with as the bachelorette.
“This is hard for me to talk about. I think I’ve put it somewhere else in my brain so when you bring this up, it’s definitely right there in the forefront as we’re speaking,” she said. “I remember everything until a certain point and when the pill kicked in I literally couldn’t even move my body, so I have no idea what the pill was at all.”
Phillips added, “All I know is that I was told that, ‘This will make you feel better.’ ”
Though she considered exiting the show after the alleged incident, Phillips admitted that she wanted to complete her season, during which she became engaged to winner Ian McKee. (They ended their engagement a year later.)
“It is a huge deal. I have worked through it and thrown it in the back of my mind. I had no control. Zero,” Phillips said. “I think that was the hardest part for me, that I couldn’t even lift my arms to say no.”
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She also claimed that another person, whom she did not identify, confided in her about a similar incident of being “roofied and in a hot tub and kind of accosted” during production.
Phillips’ accusations come nearly a year after the Bachelor in Paradise scandal between contestants Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson.
Warner Bros. initiated an investigation of the alleged misconduct, all the contestants were sent home, and Olympios and Jackson both retained legal counsel.
Over a week later, Warner Bros. announced their investigation found no evidence of misconduct and confirmed that production would be resuming.
Season 14 of The Bachelorette, starring Becca Kufrin, premieres Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.