4:48pm PT by Jackie Strause
'Bachelor in Paradise' Star Says His Character "Has Been Assassinated"
DeMario Jackson, the second contestant at the center of an ongoing Bachelor in Paradise investigation, has broken his silence.
“It’s unfortunate that my character and family name has been assassinated this past week with false claims and malicious allegations,” the Bachelorette star said Wednesday in a statement to E! News. “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 statement came hours after Corinne Olympios hired a top Hollywood publicist and attorney and released a statement saying she was a "victim" in the alleged incident that took place June 4 on the Mexico set of the Bachelor spinoff series.
“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," Olympios said Wednesday in a statement through publicist Stan Rosenfield.
Added Olympios, who also hired attorney Marty Singer: "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.”
The alleged incident occurred on the first day of filming at a resort in Sayulita, Mexico, and is said to have involved a sexual encounter between the two castmembers, who had been drinking. A producer who suspected misconduct on the set followed protocol and reported it to his or her supervisor at Warner Bros., the production company behind the ABC hit. It is unclear if the producer witnessed the incident or saw footage of the encounter, which was captured on tape, before filing the complaint that set the investigation in motion.
"We have become aware of allegations of misconduct on the set of Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico," the studio said Sunday in a statement. "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.”
The investigation remains an internal one, as charges have yet to be filed. Though ABC has not officially canceled the season, which was set to bow Aug. 8, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the likely one- to two-week investigation will make editing turnaround near impossible.
For updating details as the investigation unfolds, head here.