Chris Harrison asked for $25 million amid exit from The Bachelor as 'he has nearly 20 years of dirt'

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Chris Harrison demanded $25 million as part of exit package from The Bachelor because ‘he has nearly 20 years of dirt’

  • Source said Harrison ‘was absolutely ready to hand them a lawsuit’ over ouster 
  • Host was ‘was ready to tell the truth about how things really work over there’ 
  • He has evidence of ‘inappropriate behavior on set’ involving fights, substance abuse and execs disregarding producer complaints 
  • Harrison on Tuesday permanently left the reality romance franchise
  • Exit came four months racial insensitivity scandal which erupted following a February Extra interview with The Bachelorette alum Rachel Lindsay 

Chris Harrison asked for $25 million in his exit from The Bachelor to quell a potentially nasty battle with ABC.

‘Instead of handing them a rose, he was absolutely ready to hand them a lawsuit detailing all the behind-the-scenes details,’ a source told Page Six of the Dallas native, 49, amid his parting from the reality romance franchise after 19 years as host.

Harrison on Tuesday permanently left the reality romance franchise, about four months after a race-related controversy in which he suggested ‘a little understanding’ toward a contestant who had attended a plantation-themed theme bash in 2018.

The latest: Chris Harrison, 49, asked for $25 million in his exit from The Bachelor to quell a potentially nasty battle with ABC. He was snapped last year in Pasadena, California

The latest: Chris Harrison, 49, asked for $25 million in his exit from The Bachelor to quell a potentially nasty battle with ABC. He was snapped last year in Pasadena, California 

The longtime host of all three Bachelor Nation shows – The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, ‘has nearly 20 years of dirt,’ the source told the outlet.

‘He knows a lot about inappropriate behavior on set: fights between contestants, misbehavior including use of illegal substances while overseas and complaints from producers that were allegedly brushed under the carpet by ABC execs,’ the source added. 

Harrison ‘was ready to tell the truth about how things really work over there – and he has plenty of evidence to back him up,’ the source said. ‘Chris was making $5 million a season and wanted $25 million to go.’

The source added that Harrison’s ‘whole life was The Bachelor, and he didn’t want to let go,’ as ‘there have been very tough and very heated negotiations going on for weeks.’

Exit: Harrison on Tuesday permanently left the reality romance franchise, about four months after a race-related controversy in which he suggested 'a little understanding' toward a contestant who had attended a plantation-themed theme bash in 2018

Exit: Harrison on Tuesday permanently left the reality romance franchise, about four months after a race-related controversy in which he suggested ‘a little understanding’ toward a contestant who had attended a plantation-themed theme bash in 2018

Details: The longtime host of all three Bachelor Nation shows - The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise - 'has nearly 20 years of dirt,' a source told Page Six

Details: The longtime host of all three Bachelor Nation shows – The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise – ‘has nearly 20 years of dirt,’ a source told Page Six 

ABC higher-ups had hoped he would leave ‘quickly and quietly’ in the wake of the racial insensitivity scandal, which erupted following a February Extra interview with The Bachelorette alum Rachel Lindsay.

A second insider said that Harrison and the network hammered out a deal that was thought to be less than the $25 million total, the outlet reported.

Another wrinkle in the severance process came with Harrison’s hiring of Los Angeles lawyer Brian Freedman, who past represented Gabrielle Union amid her parting with NBC and America’s Got Talent prior to the sides settling; and Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss, the ex-wife of the show’s creator Mike Fleiss, in their split.

Details: Harrison 'was ready to tell the truth about how things really work over there - and he has plenty of evidence to back him up,' a source said

Details: Harrison ‘was ready to tell the truth about how things really work over there – and he has plenty of evidence to back him up,’ a source said

Farewell message: Harrison addressed his exit from the franchise in an Instagram post Tuesday

Farewell message: Harrison addressed his exit from the franchise in an Instagram post Tuesday

‘Chris Harrison hired Brian Freedman … which immediately set an aggressive playing field, and the exit negotiations were extremely fraught,’ the second source told the outlet. ‘It was a bunch of emotionally-charged men in a room who were not happy with each other at all.’

Harrison addressed his exit from the franchise in an Instagram post Tuesday.

‘I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together,’ he said. ‘While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.’

The insider also said that Harrison was also upset in March over his chat with Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan, who characterized an apology Harrison gave as ‘a surface response.’

‘Chris was not happy with that Strahan interview and the way it went down,’ the source told Page Six. ‘He was not happy with Strahan’s comment at the end of the interview, that it was a “surface” apology. He felt angry and that Strahan made a bad situation even worse.’

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