7:40am PT by Christina Schoellkopf
'Bachelor in Paradise': Corinne Olympios Previews ABC Sit-Down, TV Projects in the Works
Get ready to see more of Corinne Olympios on the small screen, if everything goes as planned.
The Bachelor franchise alum is not done with TV in the wake of the Bachelor in Paradise controversy. Olympios has a scripted series and a reality TV show in the works, she told The Hollywood Reporter Thursday at the U.S. launch party for Showpo at Hollywood’s NeueHouse.
"I do have a [reality] show in the works, and I’m also working on a scripted show with one of my favorite producers," she explained to THR, adding that both would be in front of the camera.
Olympios was joined by her mother, Peri, and Hollywood publicist, Katie Feldman, at the brand's launch party. The event marked one of her first public appearances since exiting the Sayulita, Mexico set of Bachelor in Paradise, which is currently airing on ABC. "We're really lucky that we got her," says Showpo CEO Jane Lu of having Olympios out at a public event. "Her team tells us that the brand aligns with her personal brand well."
The 24-year-old is keeping further details of her possible gigs under wraps for now, waiting to announce more the day of her Paradise sit-down with Chris Harrison, which airs on Tuesday. Olympios has nearly removed herself from the spotlight since returning from filming the fourth season of Paradise, offering only two public statements via her publicist about the controversy. "Before making your assumptions, watch my interview [with Harrison] to hear it straight from me," she had tweeted to fans earlier this week.
The reality star's highly anticipated on-air return to the franchise comes after the season's temporary shutdown this summer, when a producer on set filed a misconduct claim surrounding a sexual encounter between her and castmember DeMario Jackson. The claim launched an investigation that suspended filming for nearly two weeks. Ultimately, producers Warner Bros. Television found no misconduct and resumed filming. Jackson first told his account of the events during a sit-down with Harrison that aired last week.
Olympios told reporters of her past few months since leaving the Sayulita, Mexico set: "I think when anything like that happens to someone, I could only hope that you grow as a person and learn a lot about yourself, which I did. I’m just always positive. I’m a really positive person."
During the pre-taped studio interview, the star is poised to address the slut-shaming she experienced in the weeks during the investigation, as well as the statements she released, including one where she referred to herself as a "victim." ABC reality chief Robert Mills told THR that Olympios will clarify what she meant and "put this thing to bed once and for all."
"I’m still good ol' Corinne. I just hope everyone still loves everything I’m doing," she said of the anticipated fan response. "I have no problem with Bachelor Nation. I love Bachelor Nation. I am Bachelor Nation."
Olympios hails from Nick Viall's season of The Bachelor, which aired earlier this year. Recently, Viall and his winner, Vanessa Grimaldi, called off their engagement. Olympios placed fourth on the season.
It was revealed after the shutdown that Olympios had been in a relationship with Jordan Gielchinsky, president of Giel York Tobacco Corporation according to his LinkedIn profile, while filming Paradise. On Thursday, however, she told reporters: "We are not together anymore. I am seeing someone else."
During a visit to ABC's Good Morning America on Tuesday ahead of her sit-down airing later that night, Olympios reiterated that she doesn't remember anything from the encounter with Jackson due to a combination of drinking and her medicine. "I was also on a medication that severely blacks you out and impairs your judgment and messes with your balance that I didn't know you were supposed to not drink on. So I really just caused a horrible, horrible blackout. it was like I went under anesthesia and then just like woke up." She said that seeing the footage play back when the premiere aired was like "watching someone else." She's currently weening off the medication and working on her drinking.
Olympios also shed light on her reasoning for calling herself a victim. "I was really a victim of the media. All of a sudden people became an expert on the situation on what happened and it was like, I'm still trying to figure out exactly what happened." There is no bad blood between her and Jackson, she said, or with the show's producers, who sparked the controversy. Adding, "I would hope that if a producer saw anything that they were uncomfortable with with anyone, they would do the proper investigations to make sure everyone was safe."
Ahead of her tell-all chat, THR spoke to the Miami business owner below about how she is feeling ahead of her big TV return, what her post-Paradise chapter looks like and how she has pushed through the stress of being at the center of a media storm.
Why was it important for you to tell your side of the story to Harrison in your upcoming sit-down?
I just feel like the media was trying to paint me a certain way. Everyone thought they knew what happened. It’s going to be really great finally being able to tell my side of things, through my eyes. I’m really happy it was with Chris because Chris is a good friend of mine so I’d rather interview with him than anyone else.
How has your Bachelor franchise experience influenced your next chapter?
I’ve had many different experiences with The Bachelor, all positive. There was a setback, but everything just comes from me and how I’m feeling, and I always try to come out being the best that I can be — the best Corinne that I can be. I really just follow my heart and not let anything else get in the way.
What have you been doing since production shut down to help alleviate stress?
A lot of yoga. A lot of therapy. Just family time. I got a puppy.
Who has been your greatest support system in the past few months, since leaving Paradise?
My mom actually came out here from Miami. My dad’s been coming back and forth, but my mom’s been with me now 10 weeks today. My sister just left to Miami. She has school. We’re a really close family.
Are you watching this season of Bachelor in Paradise?
I actually watched the first episode, and then I’ve just been traveling. So unfortunately that's it. [The first episode replayed the interactions between Olympios and Jackson leading up to the shutdown.]
Bachelor in Paradise airs Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Aug. 29, 6 a.m.: Updated with GMA interview.