On Saturday, June 11, DeMario Jackson’s world as he knew it got turned upside down. We all know the story by now—Warner Bros. released a public statement saying that production of Bachelor in Paradise had been suspended to investigate sexual misconduct allegations, which involved cast members Corinne Olympios and the recently-crowned villain of Rachel’s season, DeMario Jackson. Now, after a thorough investigation, Jackson’s name has been cleared (and filming has resumed), and he’s speaking out for the first time. Here, the highlight reel of his interview with E! News—including his feelings toward Corinne, his outtakes from that first day in Paradise and, if he did go back, who he would be going for.
DeMario got played on Rachel’s season
According to Jackson, Lexi—the ex-girlfriend from the basketball date—was a one-time Bumble date who producers brought in to set up Jackson as the villain. “A girl that I went out on a date with from Bumble saw me on After the Final Rose, called into ABC and said she was my girlfriend,” he said. He alleges that producers didn’t ask her any questions or do any type of fact-checking to confirm her story. “ABC didn’t even ask her for a picture of her and I—I’ll give 100 million dollars to the person that finds a picture of me and this girl,” he said. And when he walked into the gym and said “Oh, who’s this?” he says he legitimately didn’t know. “It was a side profile and I didn’t know who she was, I really didn’t.”
If the producers didn’t screw him by bringing Lexi in, DeMario thinks he would have gotten farther with Rachel
“We had great chemistry, we were vibing, we had a great thing and it sucks that the producers did that without even asking. They couldn’t even call my mom or my dad and just do one fact check,” said Jackson.
DeMario went on Paradise for redemption
“I wanted to prove to people who I was, what I was about. I’m playful, I’m loving, I’m not that guy at all,” he said. “I’m a lot of things, but I’m not a cheater because I didn’t have a girlfriend.”
Producers don’t force the contestants to do anything
During his interview, Jackson made it abundantly clear the producers never force drinks on anyone and they “don’t encourage anything as far as ‘Hey, go hit on her’ or ‘Hey, go do this.’”
Going into Paradise, he was excited about Alexis and Corinne
“I had my eye on her [Corinne] and Alexis, and it was cool because they both showed interest right off the bat,” said Jackson. He liked Corinne because of her “zero f-cks attitude,” and he knew he would get along with Alexis because they have the same personality—they’re the life of the party. “I saw her and thought, Wow, if I don’t try to get with her I want to be her friend.”
On the first day of filming (the Sunday), Corinne snatched DeMario away from Alexis
“She did a Corinne moment,” he said. “Alexis and I were actually talking… and that’s when she came and hopped in my arms.”
DeMario says Corinne didn’t seem that drunk during the day
Jackson brought up reports he’s read that say Corinne was walking around like a zombie, but he says that wasn’t the case during the day, when their hookup happened. “That was later on in the night, we were all zombies at that point,” he said. “But at this point it was so early in the game and we’re all around the bar, not really going for it yet, we’re just getting to know each other.” He continued to explain that she didn’t seem that drunk when they were hooking up in the pool. “I don’t even know sober girls that could do what she did,” he said. “Never once did it occur to me like, Man this girl is too drunk, we were still talking and having conversations.”
It was later in the evening when everyone started getting really drunk
“At one point, we had to take our group picture and none of us remember taking it. We were just throwing shit at people, we were throwing crabs, throwing coconuts at people, just having so much fun.” He also mentioned that they were all really drunk by the time Chris Harrison came to talk to them. “Chris was like ‘DeMario get your shit together, pick your head up, open your eyes, Corinne get up,’” he said. Apparently at one point, Derek Peth had vomit all over his shoulder because he was so drunk. “Everybody was drunk, but it’s Paradise, it’s nothing that TV has never seen before it’s just drunk homies. It’s nothing too crazy.”
Corinne allegedly kissed three other guys the first night
“Her and Derek had had their little thing, she like came up, jumped in his arms, slammed him to the ground, like all over him,” Jackson said. He admitted that he didn’t actually see Corinne hook up with the other two guys and wasn’t sure who they were, but that some of his cast mates told him there was in fact two other guys.
Corinne’s knees were mashed up because she fell, but she fell on the stairs with Jasmine and Raven, not in the pool with DeMario
“I did read something that said ‘after she got out of the pool with DeMario she was bruised and battered’ and Jasmine and Raven [took to Twitter to say] ‘Nope, that’s false. We fell down the stairs that night walking and all three of our legs got all bruised up and we all went to medical,’” Jackson said.
The next morning, everything was fine between them
“It wasn’t weird, she wasn’t standoffish, she wasn’t mad,” Jackson said. They had conversations throughout the day, and DeMario said he never for a second felt uneasy about it. “If anything, we got to know each other a little bit more because we were a little more sober.”
On Monday (the second day of filming) Corinne moved on from DeMario and started hanging out with Vinny
According to Jackson, Vinny was the fifth guy Corinne had hooked up with. “Not to shame her, it’s Paradise,” he said.
The girls were giving the roses out in the first Rose Ceremony: Alexis was going to give her rose to DeMario and Corinne was going to give hers to Vinny
“So now, on Monday, it’s all about locking up the roses. So Alexis was like ‘I’m going to give you my rose’ and Vinny was like ‘Cool, Corinne’s giving me hers,’” said Jackson.
On Tuesday night, DeMario was told by a producer that there was some sort of issue and that he had to “bow out” at Rose Ceremony. He was sure it didn’t have anything to do with his hookup with Corinne
“I’m sitting there thinking, What happened, what the hell is going on? and I have so many things going through my mind,” he said. “And what’s funny is that at this moment, the whole Corinne incident starts coming back in my mind and I’m like, OK there was a camera right here, there was a camera here, I was replaying it in my mind. And I was like, we’re good with that, there’s no way this has to do with that. Plus, that scene is already chopped and it’s already delivered, so we’re good.”
After he was told about the third party filing a complaint, DeMario was left in his hotel room all night with no answers
Jackson said he paced all night and even cried to a producer. “I don’t even know why I cried, I was sad as f-ck. I was really sad because my narrative, again, was screwed by ABC.”
DeMario didn’t get to say goodbye to his castmates before leaving Paradise
The last person he spoke to was Alexis—he told her he was going to get some food and then he just never came back. “For me, I didn’t know what my castmates were thinking, I didn’t know how I was going to be perceived. I even asked them if I could go to the set and say goodbye and they said ‘Sorry, no you can’t,’” said Jackson.
DeMario never thought it was going to turn into a legal battle
When Jackson got home from Paradise (which was the Thursday), he thought the worst had already happened. “I’m not thinking anything legal, I’m just thinking, Damn I got a little too turnt up, got a little wild in the pool and I got kicked off,” he said. “I never thought I would be here.”
DeMario hasn’t spoken to Corinne since that last Tuesday in Paradise, but has no hard feelings toward her
“I love her and I feel for her. She’s experiencing the same thing I am. I feel bad for her, I feel bad for her family. I genuinely feel that way,” said Jackson. “Even through all this, if she walked in right now I’d give her a hug.”
DeMario’s not sure if he’s going back to Paradise
“I haven’t thought about that yet, [the day he found out his name had been cleared] was such a relieving day…at this moment I don’t care about that,” he said.
But if DeMario did go back, it would be to explore things with Alexis
“I genuinely like her as a friend. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want more, but I kind of have to wait and see,” he said. “She’s very cool and she’s been very supportive during a dark time of mine so I’m super thankful for her and… if I was to go back [to Paradise] it would be strictly for her.”
DeMario’s looking at this entire situation in the most positive way he can
“Even through all of my darkness… I’m like, there’s children waking up without fathers, there’s mothers waking up without husbands and there’s parents that are burying their children. So its like yeah, my situation is terrible and it’s horrible but I’m thankful enough to be in a situation where I can get correct help. I can get PR, I can get legal, I have a great family I have a great support system,” he said.