On this week’s Bachelor, the group date between Peter Weber and his increasingly unhinged ladytestants was one of the horniest ones on record — the women were told to embrace their inner ’90s era Pamela Anderson at a Costa Rican swimsuit photo shoot, where they frolicked in a jungle at the direction of Cosmopolitan. (For … feminism?) The “winner” of the shoot, Victoria Fuller and her red bikini, was promised a digital cover for the magazine’s March issue, although her ethically questionable past has now squandered the opportunity.
In an editor’s letter shared to Cosmo’s website, editor-in-chief Jessica Pels, who oversaw the photo shoot, revealed something that Reality Steve spoiler readers have known for a few months now: Fuller had previously modeled in an ad campaign dressed in “White Lives Matter” attire. Specifically, Fuller donned confederacy-inspired clothing for a Marlin Lives Matter organization, which aims to educate the public on overfishing for white and blue marlin with the worst tagline possible. “In my view, the nature of the organization is neither here nor there,” Pels wrote, “both phrases and the belief systems they represent are rooted in racism and therefore problematic.” While some of the group date’s photos were included in the magazine’s print March issue, Pels added that “ultimately what felt right was choosing not to publish the digital cover on our website.”
This is the second consecutive week where Fuller’s past came back to haunt her on The Bachelor. In last week’s episode, the show’s producers cemented their Bad Place icon status by arranging her ex-boyfriend, country star Chase Rice, to perform and blindside her during her one-on-one date with Weber. Rice later said he was “really pissed off” to be tricked into doing the performance, and not because it occurred on a rainy afternoon in Cleveland.
Update, February 5: During a media blitz in New York on Tuesday, Weber defended Fuller’s decision to model White Lives Matter apparel for the marlin organization, although he noted that he doesn’t know “too many facts” about the controversy. “I just recently heard about that, with the cover being removed,” he explained at AOL Build. “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, 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 that “she’s not perfect, I’m not perfect, and no one’s perfect,” although Reality Steve snoopers might be chuckling at the extent of Fuller’s imperfections. (We don’t want to reveal upcoming Bachelor spoilers, but if you’re interested in learning more, click here.) In November, Fuller wrote a cryptic caption on Instagram that claimed the “rumors” out there about her are false. “There will be a time and place where I can defend myself,” she explained, “but for now I choose to wait.”