BACHELOR’S Demi Burnett says Colton Underwood needs to be “held accountable” for problematic behavior towards ex Cassie before he is “celebrated” for coming out. 

The 26-year-old was the first star from the franchise to publicly come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community after she dated Colton as a contestant on his season of The Bachelor.

Read our Colton Underwood live blog for the very latest news and updates…

Now, Demi exclusively told The Sun she’s “very proud” to have Colton, 29, follow her lead as she understands how “scary and terrifying” the process can be. 

“I know how that feels and I’m very proud of him for that. But I do want to make sure everyone respects Cassie who has gone through a lot and been very hurt by Colton,” she said of her close pal. 

Cassie and Colton dated for almost two years before their nasty split that eventually resulted in the her filing a restraining order against him however, she later dropped the legal order. 

"I know she would never have filed that restraining order unless she had no other choice. It must’ve been terrifying for her.

“And I don’t want anyone to forget about that. We can praise Colton for being brave and coming out but he needs to be held accountable for what he did to Cassie,” she added. 

The reality TV star explained of his new project coming out on Netflix: “I hope what he does with this opportunity with his Netflix documentary is to acknowledge what he’s done.

“He definitely needs to be held accountable for what he did to Cassie because he hurt her but there’s honestly no explanation of that will be good enough. 

“But it would give us more because we do know there is this side of him that’s considered as an abuser. But there’s another side of him where he is brave and coming out about something. 

“He needs to acknowledge both sides. He can’t just come out and use that to distract from the fact that there are somethings he needs to acknowledge.” 

She added that people need to “hear his apology from him” directly in order for fans to “celebrate a man who came out” rather than “celebrating" his problematic past.

The Texas native went on that the ex NFL hopeful needs to show people he “knows he was wrong” and that he’s “truly changed” in order for people to not “completely write him off.”

“He probably should’ve said something [about the restraining order] sooner but he’s probably really embarrassed. I know anyone would be to do something as scary and crazy as he did. 

“I’m not going to fully 100% be on your side and support you – like I support you coming out but I am not going to be able to support you as an entire being until we address this other thing, this scary side of you, this thing that you did to hurt my friend,” she said. 

A rep for Colton did not immediately respond to The Sun’s request for comment. 

Demi then explained that she had texted her close friend, Cassie, 25, multiple times last night and this morning but has yet to get a response. 

She claimed that the Orange County resident has always been very “respectful” and “tight-lipped” when it comes to her relationship with Colton because they assured each other at the time of their split they’d “keep things private.”

As the pioneer for coming out within the Bachelor franchise, Demi had clear advice for how Colton should educate himself during his journey.

The TV star exclaimed: “My favorite person in the world, my idol and everything is RuPaul Charles. And in the words of RuPaul, DO NOT read those comments. Nope, don’t do it. 

“Don’t read those comments Colton! And also educate yourself on some RuPaul. RuPaul Charles has changed the world!”

Ending on a positive note, Demi concluded describing how “excited” she is for Colton to feel the “magic” from the LGBTQ+ community. 

“It’s magical and wonderful. And hearing in his interview about being lost, when you find your people in the community, it’s so magical and powerful. 

“And I’m very excited for him,” the fan-favorite alum spilled. 

In 2019, Demi made history when she publicly came out as bisexual on Summer spinoff Bachelor In Paradise and began dating Kristian Haggerty both on-and-off camera. 

Though the two got engaged on the emotional season finale as Demi got down on one knee, they split less than a year later. 

After he was given his own Bachelor season, Colton went home with Cassie on the finale after famously jumping the wall for her but the pair did not leave engaged. 

Less than two years later, they split in a messy break-up which resulted in the California girl's restraining order against him for allegedly “placing a tracking device on her car, harassing and stalking her, and showing up at her parents' property.”

Cassie has not yet publicly commented on her ex coming out – or their legal matters.

This morning, where he sat down for an emotional chat on Good Morning America where he opened up for the first time about struggling with his sexuality. 

Talking to Robin Roberts, 60, he revealed: "I ran from myself for a long time and hated myself for a long time and I'm gay.

"I came to terms with that earlier this year and have been processing it the next step, letting people know… I'm still nervous. It's been a journey for sure.”

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