The 'BIP' Season 4 Incident May Have Been A Consent Issue

ABC/Craig Sjodin

According to early and unofficial reports, Bachelor in Paradise's suspension may involve an issue of consent. Production on Season 4 was suspended after what People alleges may have been a nonconsensual sexual encounter between DeMario Jackson and a female contestant. The part of the narrative that has remained undisputed so far is that something sexual happened between the two. Sources who have reportedly spoken to Jackson have talked to TMZ about his involvement, claiming that he and another contestant allegedly engaged in oral sex by the pool. He was not asked directly about consent, and there was no hint in his statement that he had not consented to such an activity.

Update: On Monday, TMZ reported that sources allegedly close to the female contestant have been told that she was reportedly "in a blackout state" during the alleged incident and "remembers nothing." In addition, the sources also claim that she "doesn't fully blame DeMario because he too was drunk." A statement directly from the contestant herself has yet to be given.

Update #2: In a video posted by TMZ, Jackson says "no comment" in response to numerous questions about the alleged incident. Asked if he's upset about reports alleging that Olympios claims she did not give consent, Jackson responded, ""No, no. I'm all good."

Update #3: On Wednesday, June 14, Corinne Olympios' rep released a statement about the Bachelor In Paradise allegations to Bustle:

“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. 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.”

Update #4: On the evening of Wednesday, June 14, Jackson released a statement about Olympios' allegations to E! News:

"It's unfortunate that my character and family name has been assassinated this past week with false claims and malicious allegations. 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."

Update #5: On June 20, an ABC spokesperson provided the following statement to Bustle:

“We appreciate the swift and complete investigation by Warner Bros. into allegations of misconduct on the set of ‘Bachelor in Paradise.’ Given their results, the series will resume production, and will air this summer on ABC.”

Warner Bros.' statement to Bustle read,

"As we previously stated, we recently became aware of allegations regarding an incident on the set of Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico. We take all such allegations seriously. The safety, security and well-being of the cast and crew is our number one concern, and we suspended filming so that the allegations could be investigated immediately and thoroughly. Our internal investigation, conducted with the assistance of an outside law firm, has now been completed. Out of respect for the privacy interests of those involved, we do not intend to release the videotape of the incident. We can say, however, that the tape does not support any charge of misconduct by a cast member. Nor does the tape show, contrary to many press reports, that the safety of any cast member was ever in jeopardy. Production on this season of Bachelor in Paradise will be resuming, and we plan to implement certain changes to the show’s policies and procedures to enhance and further ensure the safety and security of all participants.”

Update #6: On Tuesday, Corinne Olympios' lawyer Martin Singer released a statement to Bustle that read,

“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 crew members on the set. It was not shut down due to any complaint filed by Corinne against anyone. It comes as no surprise that Warner Bros., as a result of its own internal Investigation, would state that no wrong doing had occurred. Our own investigation will continue based on multiple new witnesses coming forward revealing what they saw and heard.”

Earlier: What remains unconfirmed so far, however, is the consent of the other party. People has two sources claiming that the woman involved was allegedly too inebriated to legally consent to what took place. Those claims were reinforced by The Morning Breath during their Facebook Live broadcast on Monday. Its stars, Jackie and Claudia Oshry, are also piecing together a narrative from various sources close to production. They speculated that one of the producers filming the encounter may have had concerns and wanted to intervene, but been held back from doing so. There's no confirmation yet on the identity of this potential producer, but the Oshrys allege that it might be the same one currently suing production.

Bustle has reached out to ABC, Warner Bros., and the two contestants for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.

For their part, the only official statement we have from ABC so far is that they're investigating "allegations of misconduct" on the set of BIP. According to a Warner Bros. statement on Sunday:

"We have become aware of allegations of misconduct on the set of Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico. 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."

It remains to be seen how the alleged situation will be handled from here forward, but, at the very least, production has been shut down and all the contestants have been sent home to recover from what may have happened.