Why “The Bachelorette” Knowingly Cast Someone Who Had Been Arrested For Domestic Violence
By Kate Aurthur
June 14, 2013
When pressed about why The Bachelorette would ever cast someone with any taint of domestic violence around him, the show source said, “It’s circumstantial. We felt OK moving forward with it.” And added: “We did not try to hide this — we insisted he address this in show.”
Through Twitter, I got in touch with McKinzie, who agreed to talk with me.
I was surprised to see Monday’s episode, and I think a lot of people were. The National Enquirer story is different from what you said on the show. It seems like your ex-girlfriend, at least initially, told a story that was different from what you told Desiree.
Brad McKinzie: Right.
Tell me about that.
BM: Basically, what happened that night is how I explained it on the show. She was drunk, we had an argument, and she was trying to leave in my car. There was actually another friend of ours that was there. We weren’t going to let her drive. She was past the point of — not just a few drinks. She couldn’t talk. Incoherent. Stuff like that. Nobody should get on the road like that. Basically, our neighbors, their window is right where the car was. They heard us arguing and called the cops. And so when the cops got there, she was so mad at me, so she said that I had pushed her and all this other stuff. They decided to arrest me.
You didn’t punch her in the face.
BM: No. And that’s a total false accusation. That’s not what the police records say.
She didn’t say that night or ever that you had hit her before?
BM: No, no, absolutely not. And that night after she had said all that and I got arrested, the next day, she immediately regretted it and was, like, “No, no, I overreacted, this didn’t happen.” Once I was already arrested, they don’t let the victim come in and say, “That didn’t happen.” Because they are afraid that they’re doing it because they’re scared or something like that. At that point, it’s just me against the state of Colorado. With domestic violence, I automatically had the restraining order. That was immediately dropped within a couple of days. She went in to court and said, “This didn’t happen.” And they removed that. At that point, I still had to fight the charges against the state of Colorado.
How long did that take?
BM: The whole process took almost a year.
At what stage of your relationship with her did this happen? You have a son with her. Was she pregnant, about to be pregnant, was your son born already?
BM: She wasn’t pregnant. I said on the show that happened about three and a half years ago, and my son is turning 3 this month. But I was just throwing out a date. It happened around four years ago, maybe. It was before she was pregnant.
OK. So this didn’t cause you to break up.
BM: No. Unfortunately, we stayed together. It’s one of those things where you’re like — we were in a relationship, I loved her, after that we had a child. Things kept happening and you keep forgiving. It was a relationship that should have ended at that point, that’s for sure.
Were you and your girlfriend together when your son was born?
BM: Yeah. We were together until he was about 1.
And you now have sole custody of your son.
BM: Yeah. We never went to court. She just basically decided that it was a better scenario that he live with me. He lives with me now, and she moved to Dallas. We didn’t go to court, but it’s an agreement between us.
So let’s cut to you applying to be on The Bachelorette.
BM: A good friend of mine, his wife was like, “I’m gonna make you be on The Bachelorette.” I was, like, “Oh, yeah, whatever.” She did. A week later, they emailed me the application, and I just kind of took it from there. They thought I would be a good fit for The Bachelorette, so I was like, “Sure, I’ll do it.”
Did you tell them about the domestic violence right away?
BM: Yeah, on the questionnaire, they ask, “Have you ever been arrested?” and blah blah blah. I don’t feel like I have anything to hide from it. Right off the bat, I was, like, “Yeah, I have, and this is what happened.” They actually did get the court documents. I don’t think they would allow somebody on the show who, like the Enquirer thing said, punched somebody in the face.
So you knew as this was going on that they were vetting you and making sure you were telling the truth.
BM: Oh yeah. Absolutely.
Then you got cast. Did they tell you you had to address the issue on camera?
BM: They never, like, say anything. It’s one of those things with The Bachelorette — you have to move fast, you’re trying to build a relationship in those few moments that you have. In real life, if I was dating someone, I wouldn’t come off the bat and say, “Hey, this happened.” But because I was there with other guys, if that was going to be an issue, I wanted to let her know. So that way she could make a decision.
Talking about this on camera is a big risk for you in your life. It’s not like the guy who told her, “I have type 1 diabetes.”
BM: Yeah. I know what happened. Everyone else knows what happened. I don’t have anything to hide from it. At the same time, I feel like, as I was saying before, it’s such a fast-moving process, I wanted to get it out there to her so that way she could make a decision on me. Because even though everything was dropped, that still is there: I was arrested for domestic violence. It’s ridiculous. But that could be a make-or-break sometimes.