Two sides to every story? Sydney Hightower, who opened up about being bullied in high school on the Monday, February 3, episode of The Bachelor, fired back after a classmate accused her of lying.
Shortly after Sydney told Peter Weber that she ate lunch in the bathroom because she was made fun of for being biracial at her Alabama high school, a social media user shared photos from their yearbook via Twitter.
“‘Ate lunch in the bathroom everyday of highschool’” #bachelornation I’m selling my yearbooks for $200 a pop, who wants the tea???????,” the user wrote alongside photos of Sydney wearing crowns and being dubbed an “upperclassmen top beauty” in the yearbook.
“Feels ridiculous I even have to address this. But correct I did win a beauty pageant my senior year of high school,” Sydney tweeted on Monday as the photos went viral. “That was voted for by 5 judges. Not by my peers. Winning a pageant based off of outer beauty does not take away the racial bullying,and isolation I’ve been through. I was also on the cheer team in middle school and in many clubs in high school. You’ll do anything you can to fit in, and I tried. I won pageants because of my ‘looks’ and I was in clubs because I wanted a scholarship to get into college. Not because I was accepted by my peers.”
She added: “Any one from my high school want to pull out the videos of girls stuffing my locker with Oreo cookies, vandalizing my home, shoving me in the hall ways? Teachers literally referring to me as a halfbreed? Calling my mother the worst names I’ve ever heard in my life? I doubt that.”
Sydney then shared the messages she sent the social media user who posted the photos from the yearbook.
“Shame on you. Shame on you for spreading hate and trying to construe something on the internet to hurt another human being,” she wrote in the Twitter DM. “I don’t know you, but I do remember you from high school and your social group did not care for me. And that’s OK. Because I would never want the approval of hateful, racist human beings.”
Sydney claimed that her classmates wrote that she was an N-word lover, a “half breed” and “monkey nose” on her car windows and driveway.
“But you will never know these struggles, and that’s a blessing,” the reality TV personality wrote in the DM. “I feel sad for you, and I’m sorry that you have not grown as a human being since high school. I hope you know that I will be praying for you and I hope you know this will not affect me, but it did hurt me that you would try to diminish my pain, and my struggles because of beauty pageants and clubs I entered into, to just try and be accepted.”
She concluded: “You are welcome to screenshot this and share it as well as you see fit. Have a great night.”
After Sydney’s posts, her former classmate clarified her intentions, but did not back down: “She did experience bullying and racial issues, but the whole point was she got on TV and said her entire senior year, which isn’t true. But she also took part in being a mean girl.”