Trista Sutter Weighs in on Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Comments About ‘Bachelor’ Creator Mike Fleiss: ‘It Goes Way Back With Us’

You don’t have to be a die-hard Bachelor Nation fanatic to know there’s always something dramatic happening off-camera. The latest in The Bachelor and The Bachelorette drama, surrounds Kaitlynn Bristowe, show creator, Mike Fleiss, and now, the original Bachelorette, Trista Sutter.

Why did the beef begin with Kaitlyn Bristowe and Mike Fleiss?

Mike Fleiss at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival
Mike Fleiss at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Things apparently began years ago. Bristowe opened up on Talkhouse Podcast to explain what happened to previous offers, post-Bachelorette life.

“Anybody that listens to this podcast knows why I cannot go on Dancing With the Stars. And it’s because, and I will say this with a mic in my hand and a smile on my face, that Mike Fleiss is a piece of s***.”

As if that’s not clear enough, she continued: “He is the creator of The Bachelor, and he hates women.”

In 2017, Bristowe Tweeted about the DWTS offer, claiming Fleiss wouldn’t allow it. It’s clear her feelings about Fleiss are more nuanced than one headline or Tweet. Here’s what she said:

The tension between Bristowe and Fleiss goes back a few years

In 2017, Bristowe released a statement, obtained by Entertainment Tonight. In it, she elaborated on what she said happened after her 2015 season of The Bachelorette.

“I believe men and women should be afforded the same opportunities. That has not been the case with The Bachelorettes and The Bachelors. I had an offer to do Dancing With The Stars and was told by Mike I could not.”

She continued: “I was told by Mike that it is bad for his brand and that he is sick of people wanting fame from his show. I am a dancer and wanted to do it, Shawn [Booth] wanted me to as well. He even wrote Mike emails. I told Mike it was my passion. I was told Shawn should be my only passion.”

She concluded by saying: “My hope in speaking out is that future Bachelorettes are given the same opportunity as Bachelors, whether it be a wedding, to dance, or another show. Just to be treated the same — to choose whatever will make them happy.”

Though these statements are two years old, Bristowe’s feelings on the matter have re-surfaced following the podcast. She also recently praised Hannah Brown on DWTS.

Her support is a turn-around from her May 2019 statements that Brown didn’t deserve The Bachelorette spot.

“The fact that it’s finally happening again for a female franchise lead is long overdue,” she said. “I will be watching, glass of wine in hand, and cheering her on.” 

What did the original ‘Bachelorette’, Trista Sutter, say about Bristowe’s comments?

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Sutter admitted she and Fleiss “are close” and “have a lot of history.” As the first Bachelorette who married the “winning” contestant, Ryan, her history with Fleiss goes back to 2003.

“We haven’t always been close. We’ve had our moments, but it goes way back with us, you know?” she said.

“I walked through those doors at Next Entertainment and it was before The Bachelor had even started, before all of this, and so I have such respect for him because we have such massive history.”

She added that she “absolutely adores Kaitlyn. She said, “She’s one of my closest friends from The Bachelorette. So I don’t know what’s going on. I love both of them and it hurts me that there’s any kind of discourse.”

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As for those DWTS claims from Bristowe, Sutter points to something other than the contention.

“I think the Dancing With the Stars thing, it’s all about timing and sometimes it didn’t work, and I cannot say whether or not anything happened with Fleiss blocking her from Dancing With the Stars.”

She continued: “I can’t speak to that. All I can say is I think she would have rocked it [laughs] and should have been on the show. Maybe she can in the future?”

What does Mike Fleiss say about all of the drama?

Considering Fleiss has quite the history with drama involving his wife, Laura, this situation with Bristowe is that much more alarming.

He previously followed up on Bristowe’s 2017 Tweet saying she has his “total support is she wants to appear on DWTS.”

Bristowe fired back — again — wondering why the sudden change of thought.

Bristowe, who’s busy planning a wedding with Bachelorette alum, Jason Tartick, hasn’t made any further comments on the current situation. Neither has Fleiss. For now, Bachelor Nation will have to figure out the truth on their own.