Matt James Reunites With Estranged Father, Manny James, on 'The Bachelor'
If you’ve been tuning into Season 25 of The Bachelor, then you know that it has been filled with major twists and turns. From the addition of five new women competing for Matt James' heart, Heather Martin making a surprise appearance, to the escort scandal, Bachelor Nation had a lot to unpack this season. And of course, it didn’t stop there.
Everyone knows that The Bachelor serves up drama on a silver platter, but many viewers didn’t realize that a major incident will involve Matt's father. Fans were stunned as Matt reunited with his father — Manny James — on-screen to have a discussion. And of course, things were tense. That said, their conversation opened up a new can of worms and has left viewers wondering who his father is and why their relationship is strained.
So, who is Manny and what effect has he had on Matt James' life?
If you’re an avid watcher of The Bachelor, then you know that Matt has often shared details about his family life. And while he has always been loving and appreciative of his mother, his father was a whole other story. It was clear that the two were estranged.
Manny is the father of Matt and his younger brother John. He divorced Patty when Matt was a young boy. As a result, Matt and his brother John were raised by Patty as a single mom.
While it’s clear that Patty has done a great job, Matt has harbored resentment for his father. It was clear as day as he shaded him on Father’s Day by honoring his mother instead of his dad.
“Happy Fathers Day Mom,” the former football player captioned a pic with his mother at the time, adding “Psalm 68:5.”
Matt also spoke about how his father’s infidelity affected him on The Tamron Hall Show in January 2021.
“There are very tough conversations that I have with individuals that allude to where I’m at in my life and why it’s been so difficult for me to be in a relationship,” he said.
“A lot of that stems from my dad and my mom’s relationship," he continued. "I saw what infidelity looked like at a young age. I saw family members that were against the relationship and doubling down on it after seeing the infidelity between my dad and my mom.”
“Infidelity is such a selfish thing to happen. For it to take place when you’ve made that commitment to somebody — and knowing how serious I take that commitment—is why I want to make sure that I’m going about this process as seamlessly and focused as I can so I’m not putting someone in the situation to get hurt.”
Manny admits that it’s been a minute since he spoke with Matt.
There’s no denying that emotions were high on Episode 9 of The Bachelor. And aside from the obvious reasons of Matt preparing for Fantasy Suites, Manny had a major effect on Matt. Since Matt’s goal was to address his personal issues with commitment and relationships before getting down on one knee, he decided to go to the source.
Things quickly took a turn as Matt confronted Manny about cheating on his mother Patty.
"I want to have a family. I want to be a dad, Matt said. “I want to be a father. What that means to me is showing up, having tough conversations, being there. When I needed you, you weren't there to have those conversations. You started other families. That affected me. I need to know where your head was at, so I don't make those same mistakes going forward."
While Manny shared that he doesn’t want Matt to make the same mistakes, he brought up issues he had with Patty — her leaving him after his infidelity — which made things go left.
"For good reason! Who wants to be with someone who’s not going to be faithful to them?" Matt shared. "I thank God that she had the courage to stand up for herself and do something because of the situation you put her in."
It was clear that Manny wanted to keep the conversation light-hearted, but Matt was on a mission for answers. And while things further escalated between the two, Manny eventually shared that he’s “not proud of his actions.”
Manny eventually apologized for his actions to Matt. “It had to get to this point. Whatever I can do to make it better, I’ll work on it," Manny shared. “I want you to be happy. I want you to have a relationship that’s healthy and not what I went through.”
It’s safe to say that Matt and Manny’s relationship is a work in progress. However, we can only hope that the two can be able to rebuild and that Matt is successful in his quest for love.
The Bachelor airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.