Note: This article contains graphic content that may offend some readers.
Although ABC closed its investigation into the “Bachelor in Paradise” scandal, the drama surrounding DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios just keeps coming.
According to reports, the show’s production was abruptly suspended last week because of “gross misconduct,” and it wasn’t long before the word spread revealing exactly what happened in paradise.
Amy Kaufman, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, posted a series of tweets outlining the June 4 incident:
Corinne came up to DeMario at the bar and kissed him. They proceeded to the pool, where they got naked.
— Amy Kaufman (@AmyKinLA) June 11, 2017
From this point forward, things turned into "soft core porn." They did not have sex. But it was very raunchy.
— Amy Kaufman (@AmyKinLA) June 11, 2017
The two were allegedly extremely intoxicated, and, according to Kaufman, a producer who witnessed the encounter filed a “third party complaint” questioning Olympios’s ability to consent.
Warner Bros. issued the following statement to Independent Journal Review:
“We have become aware of allegations of misconduct on the set of ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ in Mexico. We have suspended production, and we are conducting a thorough investigation of these allegations. Once the investigation is complete, we will take appropriate responsive action.”
However, within days, Warner Bros. announced that filming is back on and it found no evidence to support the “misconduct” claims. It stated:
“Our internal investigation, conducted with the assistance of an outside law firm, has now been completed. Out of respect for the privacy interests of those involved, we do not intend to release the videotape of the incident. We can say, however, that the tape does not support any charge of misconduct by a cast member. Nor does the tape show, contrary to many press reports, that the safety of any cast member was ever in jeopardy.”
But for Olympios, the situation was far from over. She released a statement asserting she was a victim and her plan of action:
“I am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened on June 4. Although I have little memory of that night, something bad obviously took place, which I understand is why production on the show has now been suspended and a producer on the show has filed a complaint against the production.”
Then Jackson quickly spoke out, claiming his character was being assassinated:
“It’s unfortunate that my character and family name has been assassinated this past week with false claims and malicious allegations. I will be taking swift and appropriate legal action until my name is cleared and, per the advice of legal counsel, will be seeking all available remedies entitled to me under the laws.”
And now, those closest to Jackson and Olympios are taking to bat for their friends — or in this case, their significant other.
Jordan Gielchinsky, Olympios’s boyfriend, finally said what he thinks about the whole mess. He told E! News:
“I have known Corinne for over 10 years and as a friend or boyfriend, she will continue to receive my unwavering loyalty and support until I decide that there is a legitimate reason not to give it.
Anything the public may perceive that is coming from me is pure speculation. There is an ongoing inquiry that must follow a course to its conclusion before I can fully comment.”
As for Olympios appearing on the dating show while seemingly having a boyfriend, Gielchinsky said no one knows their relationship but the two of them:
“I pay very little attention to the media and try to ignore all the conjecture surrounding my relationship with Corinne. The only two people who know the true disposition of our relationship is Corinne and I.”
And on Jackson’s side, fellow “Bachelorette” contestant Will Gaskins took to Instagram to express his utmost respect for Jackson:
View this post on Instagram
So I have largely tried to stay out of the drama; both during my time in the house as well as after my time on the show came to a close but this issue has been one that I have been following closely. I'm glad that from abc's perspective this matter is closed and that is certainly a step In the right direction. But that is not the end of this story. A lot of conversation has gone back and forth and accusations have flown regarding consent and the ability to give it, primarily from one direction. However one thing which has been largely absent from these headlines is the fact that by all accounts of those present both parties were willing participants in whatever it is that happened that day. And in fact there were multiple other people with whom one party engaged in some type of physical contact with that day but it wasn't until The black man got into the mix that this was deemed as no longer acceptable. We can lie to ourselves and say that race isn't a factor here and pretend that it doesn't affect our day to day lives but it's just that, a lie. It has hurt me these past few weeks seeing someone who I consider a friend get dragged left and right. None of you got to know or see Demario the way that those of us in the house did; if you had you would know that he is one of the most straight forward and caring ppl you could ever care to know. Those first few days he went out of his way to get to know everyone, take time to make sure that some of the guys who may have been having a hard time dealing with the stresses of the day to day of being on the show felt comfortable and at ease. Nobody got a chance to see that side of D, yes he's loud, yes he's a little obnoxious, and yea he should have clearly broken things off with that other woman before pursuing Rachel. but to those who know him he's also the guy you can call when you are in need and he will be there for you to listen, give advice or just make you laugh and crack a smile. I hope that in the coming days, hours and months that he will continue to be vindicated of any wrongdoing and his name will no longer be associated with such a despicable act. Rant over…..for now #freedemario
His caption read, in part:
“I have largely tried to stay out of the drama […] I’m glad that from abc’s [sic] perspective this matter is closed and that is certainly a step In the right direction. But that is not the end of this story. A lot of conversation has gone back and forth and accusations have flown regarding consent and the ability to give it, primarily from one direction.”
Gaskins continued, writing that one party (Olympios) engaged in “some type of physical contact” with “multiple other people … that day,” but he thinks she treated Jackson differently:
“But it wasn’t until The black man got into the mix that this was deemed as no longer acceptable.”
“We can lie to ourselves and say that race isn’t a factor here and pretend that it doesn’t affect our day to day lives but it’s just that, a lie. It has hurt me these past few weeks seeing someone who I consider a friend get dragged left and right. None of you got to know or see Demario the way that those of us in the house did; if you had you would know that he is one of the most straight forward and caring ppl [sic] you could ever care to know.”
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) June 22, 2017
In addition, attorney Priya Sopori told The Hollywood Reporter that race could definitely be at play in this incident:
“There have been questions raised, and I think rightly so, as to why any contestant would believe she was capable of informed consent with a variety of men and then not capable of informed consent with an African-American male. I think there are many people who are bothered by that allegation.”
This is the first sexual assault allegation in “Bachelor” history, however, it is not the first to stem from a reality show. Vox reported that multiple MTV shows such as “Jersey Shore” and “Real World: San Diego” resulted in sexual assault lawsuits — both of which involved excessive drinking.
It’s not expected that Olympios will return to film the remainder of “Bachelor in Paradise” as it resumes production, and a source close to Jackson told CNN on Thursday that he won’t be returning to the show in order to “focus on himself.”
— CNN Entertainment (@CNNent) June 22, 2017