What Life Is Like For Chris Harrison Since Leaving The Bachelor Franchise

For nearly two decades, longtime host Chris Harrison was the face and name behind "The Bachelor" brand. From 2002 to 2021, the television host and producer hosted 258 episodes of "The Bachelor" and its many spinoffs, including "The Bachelorette," "Bachelor Pad," "Bachelor in Paradise," "The Bachelor: Winter Games," and "The Bachelor Presents: Listen to Your Heart" (via IMDb).

So, in 2021, it shocked Bachelor Nation when Harrison departed the franchise following backlash from a controversial interview with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay for "Extra" (via Time). In the interview, Harrison made comments and displayed a tone that seemed to dismiss past contestant Rachael Kirkconnell's previous racist actions. Kirkconnell, who received the final rose from Season 25 Bachelor Matt James, had posted photos of herself at an antebellum-themed party in 2018 (Kirkconnell apologized for her actions; she and James broke up over the controversy but later got back together, per People).

While Harrison did apologize for his actions, his apology was not necessarily accepted as sincere and brought to a head the viewers' and critics' longtime criticism of the franchise for its lack of diversity. The situation spiraled, with Harrison stepping down as host and accepting an eight-figure paycheck from ABC in exchange for not revealing behind-the-scenes secrets, per Deadline.

If you're curious about what Chris Harrison has been up to since leaving "The Bachelor" franchise, we're here to inform you.

Chris Harrison and fiancée Lauren Zima settled into a quieter life in Texas

Chris Harrison now calls Austin, Texas home, a move he made before leaving "The Bachelor" franchise. In late 2020, Page Six reported that Harrison and fiancée Lauren Zima of  "Entertainment Tonight" were building a home in the exclusive Austin community of Barton Creek. "I always knew I wanted to eventually move back home to Texas ... Since I was young, I've loved Austin," Harrison shared with Austin Lifestyle for its March 2022 issue. "I realized that I wanted us to start a life together somewhere neither of us had lived, to build our own unique memories, just with us. I took her to Austin and she fell in love with the city too."

Harrison's move makes sense, considering he's from Dallas and his son, Joshua, attends Texas Christian University. Interestingly, per Variety, 2020 is also when he took his first-ever break from filming "The Bachelorette" to drop Joshua off at college (Season 12 Bachelorette JoJo Fletcher filled in for him, fueling rumors Harrison could be leaving).

Harrison and Zima graciously opened their abode up to Austin Lifestyle for an exclusive look. Highlights of the home and property they purchased in the summer of 2020 include a wine room and serene primary bathroom. The couple partnered with Kelle Contine Interior Design to add their personal style — a fairly smooth process, fortunately. "Lauren and I really do have similar taste in our decor," Harrison said.

Chris Harrison launched a podcast

With Chris Harrison's settlement with ABC, the public didn't hear much from him since his departure from "The Bachelor" franchise — that is, until December 2022 when iHeart Media announced the January 2023 launch of Harrison's new podcast, "The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever ... With Chris Harrison." The podcast is the first project he and fiancée Lauren Zima are executive producing under their new production company, Next Chapter Productions, for iHeartPodcasts. The official press release describes the podcast as an opportunity for Harrison to "open up like never before."

In the first episode, the former "Bachelor" host addresses his 2021 departure from the franchise he hosted since 2002. "I was heartbroken. I was gutted. I was embarrassed. I was mad at myself. I was disappointed in myself. The last thing in the world I ever wanted to do was be an agent of anything negative," Harrison said of the interview with "Extra" correspondent and former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay, which led to his downfall (via Vanity Fair). "The fact that I was involved in this and that I had a big part in this—and I do own that—there were many things out of my control and things definitely spun out of control for a number of reasons."

Another interesting tidbit from the premiere episode? Harrison no longer watches the show but keeps watch on its declining ratings, per Variety. "It's something I took pride in building," he said.

The former Bachelor host was followed constantly by paparazzi after the interview controversy

In Chris Harrison's podcast, "The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever ...With Chris Harrison," he shares more about the scandal and its impact on his life. In the premiere episode, Harrison reveals that he and his fiancée, Lauren Zima, were constantly followed by paparazzi at the time. "There were people parked outside of my house for weeks, following me everywhere we went," he said (via the New York Post). "I would sneak down the hill of my house through my neighbor's backyard and my buddy would pick me up."

Harrison also explains in the episode how the nation's political climate played a role in the drama and the headlines. "My name became synonymous with this political, lightning-in-a-bottle moment," he said, adding that he was targeted by both liberals and conservatives. "All of a sudden someone on CNN is talking about me for purposes of the left. And then Ben Shapiro and whoever else is talking about me ... so I was being used by the right."

He lost 20 pounds from the stress of his exit from The Bachelor franchise

As a result of the media frenzy that Chris Harrison faced after his controversial interview with Rachel Lindsay and his 2021 departure from ABC, Harrison's health was affected. "I lost 20 pounds. I didn't sleep, I didn't eat. It was just one gut-punch after the other, and mentally and physically I deteriorated pretty bad," he shared on the January 9 episode of his podcast, "The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever...With Chris Harrison" (via the New York Post).

The former "Bachelor" host also revealed that much of his anxiety was over his family, saying (via Us Weekly), "God bless Lauren Zima for being there every step of the way ... I worried about my kids. I worried about my family, my mom, my dad, my brother, all my loved ones, my friends."

Harrison's stress and subsequent healing are another reason he decided to launch a podcast. "I have not spoken publicly for two years about this, and I have a lot of thoughts," he said on the podcast (via The Hollywood Reporter). "Truly, every day of my life, I think about this and what I want to say, and how important it is that I speak to everyone for the first time." He continued, "I'm looking forward to getting this off my shoulders, and repairing this, moving forward and letting everybody hear from me."

Chris Harrison caught up with old friends from Bachelor Nation

Just because Chris Harrison is no longer the host of "The Bachelor" franchise doesn't mean he's been totally removed from Bachelor Nation. He remains close with many of the series' former leads and contestants. During his two years away from the limelight, he reunited with some familiar faces, including former Bachelors Brad Womack and Sean Lowe.

Harrison shared an Instagram photo standing alongside Womack, the show's Bachelor for Seasons 11 and 15, saying the two are now "neighbors." "So good catching up with my old friend Brad Womack. As good a man as you'll ever find," he wrote in the caption. "Apologies to @laurenzima for boring you with all our old stories." We sure wish we could've been a fly on that wall!

When it comes to Harrison's meetup with Lowe, the former "Bachelor" host wrote on Instagram, "Somehow out of the crazy show we did together a decade ago @seanloweksu is a trusted friend ... With kids [and] life we don't always get a day like yesterday where it's just us boys laughing and talking life stuff but I certainly treasure it when we do," he captioned a photo of the two together on Instagram.

The franchise's longtime stylist, Cary Fetman, also remains close with Harrison, telling Insider that he and Harrison often do dinner together. "He is a man I absolutely adore and love," Fetman said. "As hard as it was, the love will never go away."

He attended and officiated a number of weddings

Another member of Bachelor Nation Chris Harrison saw during his time offscreen is Wells Adams, everyone's favorite bartender and unofficial therapist on "Bachelor in Paradise" and former contestant on JoJo Fletcher's season of "The Bachelorette." In fact, Harrison attended Adams' 2022 nuptials to actress Sarah Hyland, as evidenced by photos shared on Instagram.

Adams' wedding is far from the only wedding Harrison attended over the past two years. Just as he once did for many Bachelor Nation nuptials, he officiates weddings — which he's done since 2012 when he became an ordained minister with Universal Life Church, per Harrison's official website. Harrison shared more in a September 2022 Instagram post. In the caption, alongside a photo of Harrison making a toast at a wedding, he wrote, "My job of spreading love will never be done."

Harrison's work was fully displayed at an oceanfront wedding ceremony he officiated. Alongside an Instagram reel of his surprise entrance, he wrote, "Spreading love never gets old! Another amazing wedding in the books. Congratulations Matt and Tiffany...Here's to a beautiful life together. I was honored to be one of the surprises on your special day."

According to Harrison's website, he customizes each wedding and will travel both within the U.S. and internationally for destination weddings. If you're wondering how the former rose giver can officiate your wedding, we've got the details! Just submit a request on Harrison's website that includes specific details about your big day. 

Chris Harrison has discussed wedding plans with fiancée Lauren Zima

While Chris Harrison continues to "spread love" by officiating weddings, he has yet to begin planning his own nuptials with fiancée Lauren Zima, at least according to a September 2022 Instagram post. "Let's all raise a glass to love ...I really need to start planning my own wedding," he wrote in the caption.

Though it's taken some time (they got engaged in October 2021 after dating since August 2018, per Us Weekly), Harrison and his bride-to-be are finally planning their own wedding, something Zima announced to Instagram in July 2022.

It seems they have a destination wedding in mind. "We're thinking about Europe," Zima exclusively told Entertainment Tonight while walking the red carpet at the 2022 Emmys. She explained that Italy and France are at the top of their list. We can hardly blame them. Harrison revealed to Entertainment Tonight that they're also thinking of a smaller, "more intimate" affair. "I don't know if we'll be able to," Zima said. Harrison agreed, saying, "Yeah, we'll see." We understand their struggle. Regardless, we're sure the couple will invite some of their Bachelor Nation pals.

He's traveled the world with Lauren Zima

Might Chris Harrison and Lauren Zima be intrigued by the idea of a destination wedding because they've done some traveling together? It could be. From the looks of their Instagram accounts, the couple has embarked on multiple destinations together, from New York to Italy.

Harrison shared a photo of himself and Zima on Instagram in December 2021. In the photo, the couple is seen posing together with a view of the New York City skyline in the background. In the caption, he wrote, "Two Texans rep'n East/West coast. So grateful we were able to do NYC together for the first time @laurenzima. No work, just enjoying everything this great city has to offer."

Nearly a year later, Harrison shared photos of the two in Italy for Zima's birthday in another Instagram post. "This chic beauty is already living her best life as she celebrates another trip around the sun," he wrote. "Raise a glass and help me celebrate @laurenzima birthday! Buon compleanno bella."

He celebrated his daughter's high school graduation

A lover of love, Chris Harrison is also a lover of family. Over the years, he's shared pics of his son and daughter on social media. During the early days of the pandemic in 2020, Harrison's son, Joshua, even made his first "Bachelor" appearance during "The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons—Ever!" when producers decided to air past seasons each week when the show's production schedule was affected. Harrison got some filming help from Joshua, who was introduced to viewers by his famous dad (via Slate).

In June 2022, Harrison celebrated his daughter, Taylor, on social media as she graduated from high school. "And just like that, in the blink of an eye, this beautiful woman strolled across the stage and into the next chapter of her life," Harrison wrote alongside several photos posted to Instagram of his daughter's big day. "Tay we love you so much and are beyond proud of you. Congratulations and now...Go Frogs," a reference to the mascot of Texas Christian University.

A month earlier, in May, Harrison announced via his Instagram account that Taylor would join her older brother at the school. "In our house Taylor earned the honor of choosing to attend TCU!!!! @texaschristianuniversity I'm so incredibly proud of you Tay," Harrison wrote alongside photos of him, Taylor, and Lauren Zima. "Two frogs are better than one. It'll be great having both kids in Fort Worth!"

Chris Harrison co-chaired the Southwestern Invitational college men's golf tournament

Golf just may be Chris Harrison's favorite pastime, as his official website says he "has become addicted to" the sport. In addition to playing for fun, the host of "The Most Dramatic Podcast Ever ...With Chris Harrison" co-chairs the Southwestern Invitational, an annual college men's golf tournament. Per Sports Illustrated, the 2022 tournament, hosted by Pepperdine University, was held at the North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, California, at the end of January and aired on the Golf Channel.

In an Instagram post from January 2022, Lauren Zima shared a photo of her and Harrison posing for a photo on the golf course, with Zima holding a glass of wine with her eyes closed. "Loving SIPporting Chris Harrison and all the incredible college student athletes playing in the #SouthwesternInvitational this week," she wrote, adding, "No, I didn't think #sports content would ever make it to this page, but the man watches #HarryPotter for me, and he always makes sure I have wine."

He worked with several charitable organizations

During Chris Harrison's time away from the limelight, the former "Bachelor" host gave back to the community by fundraising for charity. A golf lover, Harrison is involved with The Bryson Dechambeau Foundation, which supports initiatives for young golfers, helps improve children's lives, and provides educational opportunities through students' passions. In April 2022, Harrison shared pictures to Instagram from the foundation's Celebrity Invitational, a large-scale fundraising event in the Bahamas, where he is seen on stage. "What a beautiful time we had in the Bahamas raising a ton of money for the @brysondechambeau foundation. Huge thanks to all the celebs that [lent] their support. We met some amazing new friends," Harrison wrote alongside the photos.

Only about a week later, in early May, Harrison and Lauren Zima were all smiles posing alongside golf great Tiger Woods in Las Vegas for Tiger Jam to support Woods' TGR Foundation, which "[empowers] students to pursue their passions through education." "It's hard to put into words what an incredible weekend we just shared at Tiger Jam supporting the @tgrfound for @tigerwoods. This event and these people have been near and dear to my heart for decades," Harrison captioned the pics he shared to Instagram. "What Tiger and his team @tgrliveevents have created is something special and it's truly changing lives."

Additionally, Harrison supports Direct Relief, Brighter Days FoundationAIM Youth Mental Health, and the Grant Halliburton Foundation, as his official website noted.