For a while, it seemed like Bachelor in Paradise wouldn't happen this season after filming was shut down in June due to allegations of sexual misconduct between DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios. But, Warner Bros.' investigation into the incident found no evidence of wrongdoing, and Season 4 is airing as scheduled. And now, for the first time, DeMario is on the show, speaking out about what happened. On Tuesday night, DeMario told his side of what happened on Bachelor in Paradise in a sit down interview with Chris Harrison.
According to what he told Chris, when DeMario found out that production was shut down, he was just as clueless as the rest of the cast was. He and his parents laughed about how he was kicked off and that maybe reality TV wasn't for him, and initially, he was confused. "It wasn't like Corinne complained," he said. "It wasn't like I complained."
But then, the allegations (which had been made by a third party) started making headlines, which he called "every man's worst fear." He claims he was followed by TMZ and other outlets when he was at the gym, and that the whole ordeal was mentally and physically exhausting for him. As DeMario said: "It was difficult because I know who I am. I know I'm not that monster that they're trying to portray."
And although DeMario added that "going high" wasn't easy for him, he said, "I had to do it because I train and mentor children and I can't tell them to be someone I'm not, and that's what kept me going."
He also said that his fellow BiP cast members were incredibly supportive of him at the time, and that he FaceTimed with Taylor every day during the shut down. As DeMario put it, he credited surviving the situation to "friends, family, and Kanye West."
And as for Corinne? Here are his thoughts on his former costar:
"I felt bad for her because she was being slut-shamed. I love my mother, I love the women in my family more than anything in this world and it just hurt me knowing that she was going through the same thing but a little bit more."
And now that DeMario has had the opportunity to open up about the incident, it sounds like he's going to be moving forward. "This summer took a lot out of me," he said. "I'm not gonna let this get me down. I'm never gonna stoop down and I'm never gonna be somebody who they want me to be. I'm gonna be who I am, and that's my whistleblowing, crazy, fun loving self."
No word on whether or not DeMario has any plans to show up on Bachelor Nation shows down the line or take another stab at BiP next summer. But whatever is next for him, it sounds like his family and former costars will be with him every step of the way.