E! News' two-part exclusive interview with former Bachelor in Paradise contestant DeMario Jackson aired earlier this week, after nearly three weeks of rumors revolving around an alleged incident of sexual misconduct on the show's Mexico set.
On June 4, the first night of production on Season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise, a sexual encounter between Corinne Olympios and Jackson occurred that prompted two producers to file a complaint. On June 11, news broke that Warner Bros., which produces the Bachelor franchise for ABC, had halted production and launched an investigation into the incident. And then, on June 20, Warner Bros. announced that its investigation turned up no evidence of misconduct and that production would resume on Bachelor in Paradise Season 4. (On June 29, a few days after Jackson's E! News interview aired, Olympios released a statement that her legal team's investigation was "completed to [her] satisfaction.")
For the first time since the incident, Jackson provided his take on the incident and what transpired afterward. But there was much more in the full hour and 43 minute interview, which E! posted online Wednesday.
Here's what didn't make it to air:
1. According to Jackson, the alleged incident between him and Corinne Olympios happened around 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 4. He said no one was severely intoxicated by that point and also noted that Olympios grabbed him away from Alexis Waters, another contestant on Bachelor in Paradise Season 4 from Nick Viall's season of The Bachelor. Jackson said that approximately an hour or two after he arrived on the Paradise set, Olympios made the first move. "She snatched me away from Alexis. She did a Corinne moment," said Jackson, who said Olympios "hopped in my arms and I put my drink down... This was probably between like 4:00 and 5:00. You know, it was extremely early ... We're all arriving, we were like staggering in." In his memory, Jackson had had a mixed drink and three shots at that point. (A representative for Olympios told BuzzFeed News she had no comment about Jackson's E! News interview.)
2. Jackson said it didn't occur to him that Olympios could be too drunk to consent, though he also said he wasn't able to get an erection to have sex. "I get every guy's biggest fear. I get like straight whiskey dick," he said. "I'm like, kill me, kill me kill, me, and she's like, 'No, it's okay' ... And then I get out of the pool and I have like my legs in the pool like this and I'm kind of just like hanging out really, and then, this is when she like gets up out of the pool and just like puts her lady parts like right on my face." Jackson also said: "It was nothing that had never been seen on Paradise before. It was something that — there was nothing like crazy or like wild. We were both super coherent. We were both speaking, like... never once did it hit me like, 'Man, this girl's too drunk,' because we were still talking. We were having, like, conversations."
Later on in the interview, Jackson said, "I'm on Paradise, it's not my job to walk around with a Breathalyzer. Unless some chick is like passed out on the ground or something, this isn't the case. ... And number 1, I'm drunk, so do I not have the same rights? If I'm 10 shots deep and you're 10 shots deep, and you and I, you know, both make out, I mean, why is it the man's guilty? Obviously it's playing devil's advocate, but why is it just on me? ... If you have two people who are equally at fault for drinking and making out and hooking up?"
3. According to Jackson, it wasn't until the cast gathered to meet host Chris Harrison that the binge drinking hit a peak. Jackson said Harrison pointed out to him how drunk he was. "We were getting ready to get lined up because Chris Harrison was coming to speak to us… so this is probably around 5 p.m./6 p.m. or so," Jackson said. "Chris comes and talks to us probably like an hour or so later and no lie, between that hour, it was like go time. ... At this point, we’re all drunk." Jackson said Harrison said: "'DeMario, get your shit together, pick your head up, where are you, open your eyes. Corinne, get up.'" Jackson also said fellow cast member Derek Peth had thrown up on himself. "We're just like, ‘Bro, get it together,’ and like, Corinne's drunk, and like, everybody is, like, just drunk, but it's not like a bad [thing]," Jackson said. "We're just in Paradise, you know? It’s nothing that TV has never seen before.”
Jackson said Harrison introduced the cast to the new bartender, Wells Adams from last season of Bachelor in Paradise. When he talked to Adams the next morning, Jackson said, “Wells was like, ‘Dude, when I got in here, you guys were like going for it.’ He goes, 'It was very crazy to walk in to because you guys were already at that peak level.’”
5. By Monday, the day after his hookup with Olympios, Jackson already had solidified who he was getting a rose from at the ceremony on Tuesday: Waters. On Bachelor in Paradise, either the men or the women will give out roses to the opposite gender during a rose ceremony, and they'll switch who gives out the roses during the next. If you are not given a rose, you are sent home from the show. “On Monday, it's all about locking up the roses, so by now, Monday, Alexis was like, ‘Yo, I’m going to give you my rose.' I'm like, ‘Cool!’ So I kind of told all the fellas, ‘By the way, I have my rose already.’ Vinny [Ventiera] is like, ‘Cool, Corinne is giving me hers.’”
6. On Tuesday, Jackson said one of the producers "hyped" him up about his hookups during his confessional (aka "ITM," which stands for "in the moment"). "I discussed this in my in the moment," Jackson said. "[The producer] is like, ‘D! You and Corinne, you and Alexis.’... This is like, my boy. Some producers know how to get me going and once I get going, I'm not stopping. ... He's like 'D! First-day legend.’ ... Like, he's hyping me." (A representative for Warner Bros. did not respond to BuzzFeed News's request for a comment.)
7. Jackson believes producers had seen the incident in question between him and Olympios by Tuesday. "At this point ... first day has already been chopped up," Jackson said. "It's already ready to go to the last form of editing. They've already went over it, they’ve discussed it, so they've all seen it and nothing’s wrong."
8. But by Tuesday night, Jackson sensed something was wrong right before the rose ceremony Tuesday night, and he thought, ABC is going to fuck me again. "I'm getting ready to like, you know, put on my clothes for like the rose ceremony and all that kind of stuff and I do my ITM ... and [the producer is] like, ‘D, it’s happening again. You know, you had Corinne the first night, now you’ve got Alexis. How's it going?’ I'm like, ‘You know what? I'm super secure, I'm super confident, but I feel like ABC is going to fuck me again.’ My exact words: ‘I feel like ABC is gonna fuck me again,’ and he goes, ‘What do you mean?’ I go, ‘I don't know, dude.’ I said, 'I feel like something crazy is gonna happen.'" (When reached, a representative for ABC had no comment and forwarded BuzzFeed News to Warner Bros.)
9. Shortly after that, Jackson said Bachelor franchise executive producer Elan Gale asked to speak with him and told him to take off his mic. Jackson said he had a friendly rapport with Gale, who he said once joked to him, "Oh, you wearing skinny jeans? I thought you were a black man. Where’s your dick at?” Jackson said Gale told him that that night, at the rose ceremony, he should tell Harrison and the cast he's leaving because he's "not here for the right reasons." Jackson thought Gale might be playing a joke on him. "I'm like... ‘Elan, why? Why?' He goes, ‘I can't tell you. ... Let's just say I know things, and it would just be best.’” (Gale did not respond to BuzzFeed News's request for a comment.)
10. Jackson said he felt like the producers set him up early on in the current season of The Bachelorette when the contestants played basketball with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and afterward, Jackson was exposed by an ex. She showed up at the gymnasium where they were filming, saying she and Jackson had been dating when he joined the show. The encounter led Rachel Lindsay, this season's Bachelorette, to send him home. "They knew that this crazy Bumble girl was gonna be here, but they all lied and said, ‘No, she just showed up to the gym,’" Jackson said. "She specifically called my mother on Facebook. She called my mother and she's like, 'I'm gonna ruin your son, I'm gonna call ABC.’" Jackson wondered why the producers didn't do more fact-checking. "She called in, but like so many people call in per year, per season about people and you guys never do this," he said. "Why me? Like, what was, like, the beef with me, especially the way they did it was very like, sneaky. It was very like, 'Hahaha, like, let's do this. Let's make him a villain for the bigger picture,' which is Paradise, and I was like, 'Okay, cool.'”
11. Jackson said that at the end of their conversation on Tuesday, Gale said he'd check back with him in 30 minutes. "I go up to my producer and I'm like, ‘Bro, what's going on?” Jackson said. "And I go up to Alexis. I told her, I was like, ‘Yo, I don't know what's going on.' ... So she's asking around, I'm asking around." Jackson said he found one more producer that he knew from The Bachelorette who also wasn't able to provide more information. After drinking before the rose ceremony, Jackson said he went to get food and another producer came up to him and said, "Hey, can we speak offline?" "I’m like, ‘Yeah, what's up?’ And then, all of a sudden, I walk up the hill and you’ve got an executive producer standing right there... he's like, 'Well, we need you to just go back to the hotel room to breathe.'”
12. In the hotel room early on Wednesday morning, Jackson was informed of the third-party complaint about him and Olympios. "This is Bachelor in Paradise. Like, people have sex here. We're all adults. That’s what people do," Jackson told a producer after spending the night pacing in his hotel room. "'If you're upset about people having sex, go get another job,' and he’s like, ‘Yeah, I know.’ ‘So why do I have to go home?’ ‘Well, you know we're just taking precautionary measures.’ I'm like, ‘What does a third party have to do with Corinne and I? Did she consent? Yeah. Did you consent? Yeah'... I asked him that and he's like, 'Well, she didn't say anything.’ I was like, ‘So, why are we caring?’ ‘Well, you know, it's like a workplace environment, man. We take these things seriously.’”
13. The longer Jackson was in the hotel room, the more questions he said he had, and eventually, he suspected it was a racially charged situation. "I'm just asking like, ‘Why? Why me?’ And for me, it’s just, I'm not the kind of person that brings up like, ‘Ah! Black man in America,’ this and that, but at this point, I'm thinking like, what else could it be?" Jackson said. "I asked, 'You guys have shown sex before on this TV show?' ‘Yes.’ Like was there anything out of the [ordinary]? ‘No…’ I asked them, ‘Have you guys ever shown interracial...' and he's like, 'Uh, I don't know,'" said Jackson. "'Because I don't watch the show.'"
14. Later that Wednesday morning, Jackson said he was visited by an executive producer. After an emotional conversation, he was sent home. "'What did this person see that you guys didn't see? You're the executive producer. You have 15-plus years in this industry. So you mean to tell me that an assistant producer, who's been working for one fucking season...?'" Jackson asked the executive. "He goes, ‘I don't know, because I’ve watched the video a thousand times and yeah, it's raunchy as shit, and it's softcore porn in a sense, but it's nothing bad. It's not,' and I’m like, 'What is it?' And again I ask him, 'Is it race?' and he’s like, ‘Yeah, you know, I don’t know. I don’t know.'"
Jackson said the producer had tears in his eyes. "We spoke about the possibility of 300 people not having a job and I felt horrible," he said. "He was extremely genuine. ... I can tell he was confused. I was confused. I can tell that he really didn't know the full story himself and it was just a very, like, man-to-man [talk]. And he’s a tall guy too, so he was, like, bigger than me and gave me, like, a big bear hug, and like, I got tears in my eyes, he has tears in his eyes, you know? But I'm still thinking like, ‘Man, this sucks, you know?'"
15. Jackson got home on Thursday and the news broke on Sunday night after a producer called him and said, "Hey, shit's about to get real, real fast." It was shortly after that that he realized he needed a lawyer. "I'm not thinking anything legal," Jackson said of his assumption in the days prior. "I'm thinking like, Dang, I got a little too turnt up, got wild in the pool, and I got kicked off the show."
16. Later, Jackson said, he was told the producer who made the claim "never watched the tape." "She wasn't even present while this was going on," Jackson said. "She heard over a walkie-talkie later on in the night when Corinne was drunk that Corinne and DeMario hooked up and I'm like, 'What about the three other guys? What about them? You know how they say black lives matter, all lives matter? All hookups matter? ... Why was it specifically, 'DeMario hooked up with Corinne?'"
17. Jackson said he had joined the Bachelor in Paradise cast in hopes of finding redemption after the incident on The Bachelorette, much like former villain-turned-Bachelor Nick Viall. "I tell the producers just like homies, I'm like, ‘Yo, you guys really fucked me. I understand it's like reality [TV] and like, I get it, but like, you guys really, really fucked...’ and that's the reason why I did Paradise, because it was the whole redemption," Jackson said. "You get to have the last laugh. I saw how [Nick Viall] was this bad-boy villain for two seasons and then he went on Paradise, and so I saw that, and I respected it, and was like, 'Cool, okay, I could do that.'"
18. Jackson said ultimately, he views the crew as a family. "We're really family and even through all this whole process, people have reached out to me who could have lost their jobs talking to me," he said.
19. And he doesn't harbor any ill will toward Olympios, but he sees her saying she doesn't remember what happened that night as "a gray area." "I feel bad for her. I feel bad for her family. I feel like she was given wrong information or she was part of something that was much bigger," Jackson said. "One thing that I've noticed in all of her real [statements], she's saying she doesn't remember and she's saying she doesn't blame me, she blames the production. But at the same time, saying you don't remember... it's like a gray area. I get what she's doing. She's being very smart wording certain things. ... But I don't know."
He added: "We're all pawns, we're all victims to certain degrees."
Marcus Jones is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Marcus Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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