Looks like the Bachelor in Paradise scandal is about to get uglier. Less than a week after the show abruptly halted production due to allegations of misconduct, both parties at the center of the incident are speaking out — and it seems they’re gearing up for a battle. Both Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson have secured legal teams to help them navigate the way forward.
ICYMI, production on the reality dating show stopped after a producer on the show allegedly threatened to sue the production for misconduct after witnessing a sexual encounter between Corinne and DeMario in the pool. While plenty of hookups happen on the show (that’s sort of its purpose, to be fair), this time there were allegations that Corinne was too intoxicated to consent. In other words, the camera crew may have filmed a sexual assault — not a hookup. Shortly after the whistleblower spoke out, all the contestants were sent home.
“I am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened on June 4,” Corinne, who previously appeared on Season 21 of The Bachelor, said in a statement on Wednesday. “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.”
The 24-year-old added, “As a woman, this is my worst nightmare and it has now become my reality. As I pursue the details and facts surrounding that night and the immediate days after, I have retained a group of professionals to ensure that what happened on June 4 comes to light and I can continue my life, including hiring an attorney to obtain justice and seeking therapy to begin dealing with the physical and emotional trauma stemming from that evening.”
However, if Corinne plans to take aim at the show, she might have a hard time, thanks to the contract she signed going in. According to TMZ, the contract states that she waived her right to sue producers over claims of “negligence, personal injury (including without limitation, any injuries arising out of the transmission of a sexually transmitted disease or unwelcome/unlawful contact or other interaction among participants).” However, if it is deemed that producers were “reckless” by not stepping in, they could be liable after all. (If Corinne was blacked out and the producers filmed instead of intervened, that probably qualifies.)
For his part, DeMario, who previously appeared on Season 13 of The Bachelorette, had a different take on the events in question. “It’s unfortunate that my character and family name has [sic] been assassinated this past week with false claims and malicious allegations,” 30-year-old Jackson said in his own statement. “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.” People has reported that his legal counsel is L.A.-based Walter Mosley.
For what it’s worth, though, just because DeMario’s lawyered up hardly means that he wants people to attack Corinne. “At the end of the day, if you love me, love her as well,” DeMario recently said. “I don’t like the whole slander of Corinne and people calling her names and whatnot. At the end of the day nobody knows what happens except for what’s on the tape.” He went on to encourage people not to “slander” either of them and to show “respect” for her and her family.
At least one report supports DeMario’s claim that he’s being unfairly characterized, claiming that a female cast member has come forward stating that she walked by Corinne and DeMario while they were mid-hookup and Corinne seemed “very with it.” According to this witness, her interaction with the couple was filmed, so there should be video evidence that her version of the story is accurate.
We’ll have to wait and see whether this footage (still) exists and if it proves anything, but in the meantime, the future of the franchise as a whole is in limbo.
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