Many questions and doubts are arising from the investigation into an incident on the sets of ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise, like what exactly happened and how will it affect the current season and entire franchise moving forward. Here are all the details verified from reliable sources related to the investigation since it was set in motion on Sunday. With the probe likely to take one to two weeks, bookmark THR‘s story to separate fact from fiction.
What exactly happened on the set of Bachelor in Paradise? on Sunday, June 4?
After one week on Sunday, June 11, there was an announcement by Warner Bros. that the production has been suspended on the upcoming fourth season of the Bachelor spinoff. “We have become aware of allegations of misconduct on the set of Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico,” said the production company behind the ABC hit. “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.”
This happened on June 4, the first day of shooting at a resort in Sayulita, Mexico, and is said to have involved a sexual encounter between two cast members who were consuming alcohol, Corinne Olympios, 25, and DeMario Jackson, 30. The misconduct was suspected by the producer on the set who followed protocol and reported it to his or her supervisor at Warner Bros. It is still not clear if the producer saw the incident or saw footage of the incident, which was captured on tape, before filing the complaint that set the investigation in motion. Despite circulating reports suggesting otherwise, Olympios appears “lucid” in the footage, say sources.
How it affected the cast?
The cast members continued with the production for a second day, including Olympios and Jackson, continuing to go about their show business. Many contestants proceeded the journey of the show, leaving the resort to go on one-on-one dates. After the complaint was filed, firstly Olympios and Jackson were asked the questions and dismissed from the Sayulita resort, say sources. After questioning the remaining cast and crew one by one — 20 cast members (only 16 had previously been announced by ABC) and 25 crewmembers — all of the cast members were returned their phones (no social media devices are allowed while filming) and flew out of Puerto Vallarta on Sunday, with most arriving back home in the U.S. by Monday.
What charges been filed?
Still, there are no charges filed and also there is no involvement of law enforcement. The Warners are conducting an internal investigation only.
Who are Olympios and Jackson?
Bachelor in Paradise reunites former castoffs of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette in hopes they find love with other stars of the franchise. Olympios, 25, hails from Nick Viall’s season of The Bachelor earlier this year and Jackson, 30, was recently eliminated on Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette, which is currently airing. Jackson was kicked off the show on the May 29 episode when it was revealed to Lindsay that he had an unfinished relationship back home. Olympios placed fourth on Viall’s season and was labeled as the season “villain” for her onscreen antics.
What have stars said?
Jackson has been tweeting actively since returning home, but didn’t address the incident publically until he was approached while out in Los Angeles on Tuesday: “I have nothing to say. You know, Corinne’s an awesome girl and that’s all I have to say.” Olympios hired a top Hollywood publicist and attorney, Stan Rosenfield and Marty Singer, respectively, and released a statement on Wednesday:
“I am a victim and have spent the last week trying to make sense of what happened the 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.”
Shortly after Olympios released her statement, Jackson officially broke his silence. “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 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.”
What did the show comment?
Franchise host Chris Harrison said all the “misinformation” and rumors swirling in the press were what encouraged him to speak out on Tuesday. He was watching everything patiently while Warners conducts the investigation. “Let me start by saying the safety and care of the cast and crew of our show is of the utmost importance to us,” he said in part. “[Warner Bros.] is moving quickly to gather all the facts, and once that’s done a clear concise decision can be made about where we go from here.” The creator of the franchise, Mike Fleiss, posted a short message on Twitter and teased more to come. “We love you #BachelorNation,” he said.
Will the current season be canceled?
Yet there is no official decision by ABC on if the season will be canceled. The production schedule, however, makes it unlikely the show could be turned around in time for its slated Aug. 8 airdate. The show tapes in under a month (June 1-June 27) and with the investigation delaying filming for a week or two, the editing turnaround would be very difficult. On the dismissal of the cast, they were told they “might” return, but now the collective expectation is that they won’t, say sources. Representatives for ABC and Warners maintain the series has not been canceled despite rumors to the contrary.
What will be the impact on future of the series and the franchise?
Sources say the future of the series as a whole is not yet in jeopardy, even if the season is scrapped. “The real question is if the advertisers will stay with the show and how much financial damage has been done,” media valuation expert Larry Gerbrandt told THR. “The knee-jerk reaction is to pull out [of buying air time on the series] because that’s the safest course of action — that’s what killed Bill O’Reilly’s show; it wasn’t ratings, it was advertisers dropping out.”
There’s also the question whether the fans will continue to watch The Bachelorette, which is currently airing its historic season with Lindsay as the first black lead and delivers a new episode on Monday. The Bachelorette, while tamer than Paradise, also features boozy courtships and, at times, sex between contestants. Will viewers still be interested in the reality show knowing that something inappropriate, and possibly illegal, may have occurred during production of its sister series? Both Olympios and Jackson also recently appeared on Bachelorette and are fresh in the crossover audience’s mind.
What will happen to the Paradise wedding between Evan Bass and Carly Waddell?
Last year’s cycle of Paradise produced three engagements, though only one remains set to walk down the aisle: Evan Bass and Carly Waddell. The wedding was scheduled to be shot at the Paradise resort this weekend and was slated to bow on the summer season of the show. Despite the cast exodus, the wedding will still be there, say sources, with several stars from the franchise joining the guest list. ABC is not aware how the wedding will be televised, sources add. Included on the guest list are expecting Paradise couple Jade and Tanner Tolbert, says a source.
What are reactions of other contestants in the franchise?
Many of the Bachelor in Paradise contestants who were sent home expressed their heartbreak and sorrow on social media. Former Bachelor Ben Higgins and two-time Bachelor in Paradise star Ashley Iaconetti offered their insight when they welcomed THR onto their iHeartRadio Almost Famous podcast on Tuesday. “Did somebody make a mistake?” Higgins asked regarding questions as to why producers didn’t step in. “Did a producer make a mistake? Were things taken too far? I don’t know, but if it did you have to understand that they were just trying to portray a storyline that was existing in front of them.” Iaconetti said she is on a text chain with many of the current contestants and that most are “unclear as to really what necessarily was going on.” (Neither were participants in the current season.)