CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses allegations of sexual assault.

Meredith Phillips, the star of the second season of the US Bachelorette, has come forward with shocking new claims, saying that she was drugged and assaulted by a masseuse while on the set of the popular reality series in 2003.

Speaking with the Reality Steve podcast, Phillips recalled an incident during the filming of the show when she told producers that she was feeling fatigued, and a female massage therapist was brought in to work with her.

The therapist allegedly supplied her with an unidentified pill, of which Phillips said:

“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. 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.”

She continued:

“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. All I know is that I was told that, ‘This will make you feel better.'”

Phillips said that another person working on The Bachelorette confided a similar story in  her, saying that they had been “roofied in a hot tub and kind of accosted” during production, but that she didn’t report the incident, because she “wanted to protect the franchise, which is fucked-up.”

The former reality star, who is not a prominent user of social media, says she has spent the years since trying to move on from the incident:

“It is a huge deal. I have worked through it and thrown it in the back of my mind. I had no control. Zero. I think that was the hardest part for me, that I couldn’t even lift my arms to say no.”

You can listen to the whole interview, sections of which have been edited out to protect the privacy of certain people, on the Reality Steve website.

Source: New York Times
Image: Getty Images / Bob D'Amico