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Bachelor in Paradise returned to ABC for the fourth year this summer, but it was making headlines for the worst kind of reasons when filming kicked off in June. The show suspended production shortly after it began when members of the crew reported potential sexual assault of contestant Corinne Olympios by fellow contestant DeMario Jackson. Investigation ultimately determined that no assault had been committed, and production started up again, although neither Olympios nor Jackson returned for the rest of the season. Now, Corinne Olympios has spoken out about her feelings regarding the controversy, saying this:
I don't blame DeMario. I never pointed fingers at DeMario. . . . I respect you as a human. I have nothing against you. I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I know exactly what it feels like. I had to go through it, too.
Concerns about sexual assault arose after crew members saw what looked like DeMario Jackson having sex with a limp and possibly unconscious Corinne Olympios. For her part, Olympios has maintained all along that she couldn't actually remember what had happened, and she only learned of the situation when folks filled her in the next day. She retained the services of a lawyer in order to pursue a possible legal case against the show for failing to protect her.
Now, judging by Corinne Olympios' comments to Bachelor in Paradise host Chris Harrison (via THR), she has come to accept the investigation's findings that no wrongdoing had occurred. In fact, she has a reason for why she can't remember: Olympios believes that the combination of alcohol and medication accounts for her memory loss. Apparently, she feels that the media buzz around the controversy negatively affected DeMario Jackson as well as herself. Corinne Olympios also revealed why she was unable to clear the air with Jackson quickly:
Before I even had a chance to gather my thoughts and collect myself and talk to him or talk to anybody, he kind of just went for it and was so on the defense. I was never mad at you or blaming you for anything. The media wants to paint you a certain way that you know you're just not. It's hard that people become experts on you and your life and think they [were there] and know exactly what happened.
DeMario Jackson was getting plenty of negative buzz, even when the case had not yet been investigated and resolved, and Corinne Olympios evidently feels that they both got the short end of the media stick. It's certainly true that they were both thrust into the spotlight for very different reasons than regular Bachelor franchise fame. For both of their sakes, we can only hope that the worst is over and they'll be able to move on. As for Bachelor in Paradise... well, the incident has led to some changes on set. There will be a 2 drink maximum per hour for contestants moving forward.
You can catch new episodes of Bachelor in Paradise on Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For your other viewing options, be sure to check out our fall TV premiere schedule.