10:17am PT by Christina Schoellkopf
'Bachelor In Paradise' Controversy: 6 Things to Know About DeMario Jackson
As the investigation into allegations of misconduct on the set of Bachelor In Paradise unfolds, The Hollywood Reporter offers a brief introduction of one of the parties involved: DeMario Jackson.
Jackson, 30, is one of two Bachelor franchise castmembers involved in the incident at the center of the controversy, which is alleged to have taken place on June 4, the first day of filming the upcoming fourth season of the summer spinoff in Sayulita, Mexico. He and Corinne Olympios, 25, are said to have had a sexual encounter after drinking from the open bar on the show's private resort set. A producer who suspected misconduct reported it to his or her supervisor at Warner Bros., the production company behind the ABC hit that is leading the internal investigation (criminal charges have not been filed).
Below are some quick facts about the legal measures Jackson has taken since the ABC show suspended production on Sunday, a recap of his TV time on this season's The Bachelorette and information about his off-screen persona. It is worth nothing that Olympios has been in the public eye for more than five months, while Jackson has only been on TV for three weeks. Olympios has also been active on social media accounts for years, while Jackson created public accounts two months ago. With limited public, confirmed information about Jackson's life on and off-screen, The Hollywood Reporter breaks down what is known about the new reality star.
1. Jackson is taking legal action until his name is "cleared," claiming his character and family name has been "assassinated."
The Los Angeles native broke his silence Wednesday, releasing the following statement: “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.”
Jackson's public response to the controversy came a few hours after Olympios' statement, in which she called herself a "victim" who is seeking to "obtain justice." (Read her full statement: here.)
Prior to his official statement, Jackson was approached on video, where he said, "Corinne's an awesome girl, and that's all I have to say." He later announced that he lost his job as an executive recruiter due to the controversy. "I don't blame anyone right now. All I want [are] the tapes," he said of Warner Bros. releasing the footage.
What appears to be his official LinkedIn page lists years of experience in recruiting and management roles. He attended California State University, Fresno and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising with a Bachelor of Arts, according to the site. Jackson recently joined other social media platforms, Instagram and Twitter within the past two months, where he has expressed love for his family and fellow Bachelorette contestants and suggests his time on the show was emotionally draining.
2. He met Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay before her season officially began.
Jackson, 30, was one of four Bachelorette contestants to meet ABC's season 13 star Rachel Lindsay before her season debuted. In March (two months before her season premiere date), Bachelor Nation watched live as Lindsay was treated to a franchise first on Nick Viall's After the Final Rose special. Moments after she reflected upon her heartbreaking Bachelor exit to a live TV audience, franchise host Chris Harrison offered an early introduction to four of the the 31 suitors who would soon be vying for her heart: Eric Bigger, who showed off his dance moves; Blake Elarbee, who kissed her hand; Dean Unglert, who proclaimed, "I'm ready to go black and I'm never going to go back"; and Jackson, who presented Lindsay with plane tickets and a ring to elope in Las Vegas. He later brought the plane tickets onto The Bachelorette for his premiere re-introduction.
3. His official Bachelorette bio says he is "perfect" and someone who "[loves] attention."
Harrison announced the season 13 group on May 17, marking the most diverse cast in the franchise's 15-year history. Moments later, the contestant biographies were featured on ABC's website. Jackson described himself as "100% the party starter," "perfect" and added, "I won't lie. I love attention."
He also touted his close relationship to his family, noting that his "greatest achievement to date" is "being a GREAT big brother. Since my kid sister was born, I have taken pride in not only loving her but teaching her about life."
4. Jackson's character was called into question on the premiere by his fellow castmembers and a former Bachelor contestant.
On May 22, fans reunited with Jackson when the Bachelorette premiered on ABC. But before his grand limo exit at the Bachelor Mansion (a tradition for the first cocktail party), a group of Lindsay's fellow Bachelor 21 castoffs — which included Olympios — offered Lindsay advice before she met the men. Whitney Fransway specifically shared a red flag about Jackson, "His intentions might not be pure," she said, citing a friend of a friend.
As the night progressed, Jackson was confident he would receive Lindsay's "first impression rose" and repeatedly referred to her as "my wife." Bryan Abasolo ultimately scored the first kiss and coveted rose.
5. Jackson was accused on-air of not being there for the right reasons when a woman who claimed to be his girlfriend made a surprise appearance.
After showing off his basketball skills in front of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on a week-two group date, Jackson was caught by surprise when a woman from his past named Lexi arrived after the game. She introduced herself to Lindsay as Jackson's girlfriend, claiming they were dating for seven months when she watched in shock as Jackson proclaimed his love to Lindsay on ABC's After the Final Rose. Lindsay brought Jackson out from the locker room to address the news head on, but he stumbled over his words and could not explain himself coherently. Lindsay told him to "get the f— out" and kicked him off the show.
Jackson returned the following week, however, re-appearing on the June 5 episode to plead for Lindsay's forgiveness and a second chance. But the Dallas native shut him down with a bold message that ignited praise among viewers on Twitter: “Yesterday, that was a boy. I’m looking for a man. I’m glad that you realized you need to move forward, but I need you to know that forward isn’t that way towards the mansion, forward is outside of it,” she said.
6. He was the only Bachelor In Paradise season four castmember officially representing Lindsay's season.
More castoffs from the most recent season of Bachelorette were poised to be announced, but only 16 contestants were made official by ABC, with Jackson the sole castmember to hail from Lindsay's season. The cast of BIP shuffles each week with a new batch of contestants joining the dating competition as it progresses to shake up existing and form new relationships. (The confirmed BIP season 4 cast list is here.)