The Bachelor's Victoria Fuller Apologizes for "White Lives Matter" Scandal
The show's contestant participated in a controversial photo shoot before filming.
Bachelor contestant Victoria Fuller has publicly apologized for her recent “White Lives Matter” scandal.
On Saturday, the 26-year-old reality star, who is one of Peter Weber‘s final four women on season 24, shared a statement on her Instagram Story, apologizing for her involvement in a past photoshoot in which she wore T-shirts that featured the phrase “White Lives Matter.”
“I would like to sincerely apologize for my involvement with We Love Marlins,” Fuller began. “My intention was only to support an endangered species. I want to say that I unequivocally reject the beliefs of the white lives matter movement or any propaganda that supports racism of any kind. I would like to specifically apologize to people of color that are affected by racism daily. It was never my intention to add fuel to the racial fire in this country.”
Fuller added, “This has truly been an educational moment for me and I hope to be a voice against racism moving forward. I hope I can be shown grace as I navigate through this process.”
Earlier this month, the controversial modeling gig was highlighted by Cosmopolitan’s editor-in-chief Jessica Pels after announcing that the magazine would not be releasing Fuller’s digital cover, which was promised after she won a Bachelor group date in Costa Rica.
“Unequivocally, the White Lives Matter movement does not reflect the values of the Cosmo brand,” Pels wrote in a letter. “We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and any cause that fights to end injustices for people of color.”
Prior to her Cosmo cover being pulled, Fuller had apologized for her actions in the comments section of a post shared by the Instagram account BachelorClues.
At the time, the account had shared a photo of Fuller’s cast photo, as well as a picture from the modeling campaign, which was part of a marine conservation effort that featured the phrases “White Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter.”
Commenters criticized Fuller for her connection to the slogan, and the Virginia native defended herself on the day the post went up and elaborated on her involvement in the campaign.
“Hello bachelor clues followers!” she began. “It would be nice for you to gather all facts before jumping to bash someone. The company ‘We Love Marlins’ is in support of catching white, blue, and black marlins & releasing them back into the wild. In regards to a sensitive topic, I come from a VERY large fishing town where Marlin tournaments are held every year! Glad to clear this up….”
However, when one user advised Fuller to apologize, she added, “I definitely see how this could be offensive. I apologize immensely it was never my intention to lessen this matter.”
Weber also came to her defense after Cosmo announced that her cover would not be released.
“Just being completely honest, I can’t really speak too much on it, because I don’t really know too many facts about the whole situation,” he told Build Series. “I just recently heard about that with the cover being removed. But you know, obviously, during that moment too, I knew nothing about that. None of us did.”
“All I can speak on is the time I was able to spend with Victoria throughout this experience,” the pilot said. “And I truly enjoyed my experience with her. I really feel like she’s a good person. She’s got a lot of endearing qualities.”
Weber added, “I just hope that people can form their opinion on her based on what they see between the two of us and her time on the show. She’s not perfect, I’m not perfect, no one’s perfect, but, yeah that’s all I can really say on that.”
The Bachelor airs on Monday (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.
This article originally appeared on People. For more stories like this, visit people.com.