4:37pm PT by Jackie Strause, Jennifer Konerman
DeMario Jackson Shares His Account of 'Bachelor in Paradise' Encounter With Corinne Olympios
DeMario Jackson is speaking out about what allegedly happened on the set of ABC's Bachelor in Paradise.
Now that Warner Bros. Television has ended its investigation into allegations of misconduct on the Mexico set of the Bachelor summer spinoff stemming from a sexual encounter between Jackson and fellow contestant Corinne Olympios, Jackson is starting to tell his version of events.
"It was stressful for me, and mostly for my mother. It’s hard to see your mom cry every single day," Jackson said in a sit-down interview with E! News, airing in two parts on Monday and Tuesday night. Monday also sees a new episode of The Bachelorette, where Jackson first rose to reality fame. Jackson was eliminated from The Bachelorette on the May 29 episode when a woman from his past exposed their relationship. He returned on the June 5 episode to ask star Rachel Lindsay for a second chance but was denied. That experience, he says, united him with Olympios when the pair were cast for the upcoming fourth season of Bachelor in Paradise.
"I was the villain for [that]," he explained of his Bachelorette experience. Olympios also established herself as a "villain" on Nick Viall's season of The Bachelor, and the two bonded over that fact when they met at the bar at Paradise's Sayulita, Mexico, resort earlier this month. "I've accepted this role," he recalls telling Olympios, saying they both planned to "dominate" Paradise.
Though he says they were initially acting like "friends," things between them quickly grew "hot and heavy." Jackson said Olympios' legs were wrapped around him and he called her a "great kisser." She then suggested they go hang out at the nearby pool — where the encounter in question took place — and that's when he says his guard immediately went up as a black man.
“When you're a man, an African-American man, you always look for things that can help you out," he explained. "I made sure the cameras followed us. That’s when the Spidey senses went up."
From there, Jackson says things "got wild" and he called Olympios the "aggressor" in the situation.
"It was, like, sexy," he said. "When you have an attractive girl telling you what she wants it’s like, 'Wow, this is hot.'” He then detailed how she put her "lady parts right on my face," insinuating the oral sex that was reported during the ongoing investigation.
Olympios, who said she didn't remember what happened when she released a statement saying she was a "victim," didn't "seem" drunk, according to Jackson.
"We had been naked the second we got into the pool," he added. "That night we went for it. That night was probably the wildest night of my life."
Jackson says they all woke up hungover the next day and that he and Olympios hung out. But the following night, Jackson says he was approached by producers and was dismissed from the show.
On the aftermath of the controversy, Jackson said that he quickly decided he needed a lawyer when he heard accusations of "sexual assault."
"It's every man's biggest fear," he said. "It sticks with you."
Jackson also reiterated that race may have had something to do with the press coverage of the event as well. "The minute you release this black man's face and this white girl's face, before either of us commented on it, I was already a 'rapist.'"
But Jackson doesn't blame Olympios for what happened, adding that he felt like she was "slut-shamed" in the media. “She’s experiencing the same thing as I am," he said. "I’m mad at the situation."
Citing a possible "conspiracy" throughout the events in Paradise, Jackson said that he feels like he was played. "By now I'm realizing that I got played. Not by her, but I got played in general.”
E! says Olympios' rep declined to comment on Jackson's interview.
Both Jackson and Olympios retained legal counsel over the investigation and ensuing reports, and reportedly neither party has seen footage of the incident.
Jackson initially said his character was "assassinated" over the accusations and Olympios, who retained top Hollywood attorney Marty Singer, is pursuing her own investigation despite WBTV's finding that no misconduct occurred.
"It needs to be made crystal clear that production of Bachelor in Paradise was shut down because of multiple complaints received from BIP producers and crewmembers on the set. It was not shut down due to any complaint filed by Corinne against anyone," Singer said in a statement. "It comes as no surprise that Warner Bros., as a result of its own internal investigation, would state that no wrongdoing had occurred. Our own investigation will continue based on multiple new witnesses coming forward revealing what they saw and heard."
As The Hollywood Reporter reported, Bachelor in Paradise resumed filming on the season, set to bow later this summer on ABC, over the weekend.
Jan. 27: 4:15 p.m.: Updated with the second part of Jackson's interview.