The “Bachelor In Paradise” scandal is getting messier as contestant Corrine Olympios says she is a “victim,” while DeMario Jackson says any claims of alleged sexual assault are “false” and “malicious.”
The contestants broke their silence Wednesday by issuing separate statements on the case after host Chris Harrison stated Tuesday that there was “a lot of misinformation” circulating. Reports said Olympios, who reportedly has a boyfriend, and Jackson got frisky in a pool while shooting in Sayulita, Mexico.
“I am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened on June 4,” Olympios, who has obtained the services of high-powered celebrity lawyer Martin Singer, said in a statement June 14. “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. 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.”
Her statement conflicts with what another cast member told TMZ Thursday, which was that Olympios was “very with it” as she reportedly sat topless in the pool with her legs wrapped around Jackson. The cast member said cameras followed her as she walked by the rendezvous, so what she saw could be on film, but she said if Olympios had been too drunk, she would have intervened.
“If nothing inappropriate happened, why did production get shut down?” Singer told TMZ. “Something serious clearly happened.”
Jackson followed with his own statement hours after Olympios’, noting that he too has lawyered up by hiring entertainment attorney Walter Mosley.
“It’s unfortunate that my character and family name has been assassinated this past week with false claims and malicious allegations,” he said in a statement issued through his publicist 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.”
Online, viewers have weighed in on the scandal.
Some doubted Olympios’ claims.
Corinne was a bad girl in the last Bachelor. I don’t trust her. Don’t believe her boyfriend does either.
— Angie (@InChargeable1) June 13, 2017
BF back home + drunken pool sex w/another dude + it’s filmed = sudden blackout and “I’m a victim”. I’m not pickin up what she’s puttin down!
— Lisa (@LDJ805) June 14, 2017
I don't believe a word Corinne says.
— Shupette (@Shupette) June 12, 2017
Others were simply confused by the details.
@Moderator I hate when girls play victim when they’re in the wrong. It makes all women look bad.
— Margaux Abella (@MargauxKikay) June 14, 2017
Now Corinne Olympios has come out with a statement, causing me to become even more confused. WHAT HAPPENED IN PARADISE??? pic.twitter.com/yBQL3L3gTC
— Lucy on the Ground (@lucyontheg) June 14, 2017
One backed Jackson.
We still SUPPORT you, brotha. This is how they got Kobe, Cosby, Game & Nate Parker.
— Christopher Douglas (@BrothaDoug) June 15, 2017
And many called out people for victim-blaming.
The victim blaming surrounding Corinne Olympios is a perfect example for why 1. Survivors often don't seek help and 2. Rape culture exists
— petitepapaya (@tinypapayas) June 14, 2017
I literally hated Corinne on The Bachelor but I am so disgusted at these people on the internet who are victim blaming and slut shaming her
— Erica Manshack (@ericammanshack) June 15, 2017
I am DISGUSTED at all the people victim blaming Corinne. Being too drunk is not a crime and NEVER an excuse to sexual assault someone.
— Kels in Quarantine (@KelseyBusken) June 14, 2017
If you've ever questioned whether victim blaming and shaming exists, go read the top comments under articles about Corinne's sexual assault
— Grace Garde (@ggarde2) June 15, 2017
Everyone making light of Corinne's sexual assault is part of the problem. Stop victim blaming. @CorinneOly – you will get through this babe
— Maeghan Crociata (@MaeghanCrociata) June 15, 2017