DeMario Jackson: The 'Bachelor in Paradise' scandal with Corinne Olympios never would have happened if I was a white man
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/17/2017
DeMario Jackson feels "relieved" now that his Bachelor in Paradise scandal with Corinne is simmering down, but what really seems to bother the bachelor is how race allegedly played a role.
DeMario said that if he was a white man or Corinne was a black woman, "we wouldn't even be having this discussion at all," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
DeMario spent about two months dealing with accusations of sexual assault and inaccurate, unflattering journalism stemming from his June sexual encounter with Corinne at Playa Escondida resort in Mexico during the first day of filmingBachelor in Paradise's fourth season.
A show producer, who -- according to DeMario -- never saw the actual moment or the footage, filed a misconduct allegation thinking the hookup was not consensual due to the fact Corinne appeared intoxicated.
Warner Bros. was forced to suspend production to conduct an investigation, but after about two weeks of an outside firm watching footage and interviewing witnesses and cast members, no evidence of wrongdoing was found and Season 4 resumed filming, this time without DeMario and Corinne.
During Bachelor in Paradise's two-night premiere this week, viewers finally got to watch footage of DeMario and Corinne interacting and flirting, and the activity appeared pretty harmless. (Although Chris Harrison said the hookup in question happened later that night in a hot tub).
"I think people wanted it to be something different," DeMario told The Reporter of the footage. "They wanted the angry black guy and this little, innocent white girl. But it wasn't that."
Tuesday night's episode also featured the cast talking about the incident and coming to the conclusion that producers and DeMario were not to blame. They expressed how the scandal was blown out of proportion thanks to vague lawyer statements and sources' comments that allowed for quick assumptions and judgments.
In addition, the majority of the Season 4 cast said they also believe race -- and a stigma against African American men, according to cast member Raven Gates -- played a major role in the controversy's development.
"If I would have been [Alex Woytkiw] or [Derek Peth, two white contestants], we wouldn't even be having this conversation, I would probably be engaged to [Alexis Waters] right now. If anyone argues, tell them to Google 'Charlottesville.' That's the world we live in. Look who our president is," DeMario vented to The Reporter.
"Just tell them to look up what [President Trump] said. It's always the white guy who says race didn't play a factor. Trust me, there were four black people on that entire island, three castmates and one producer. Luckily that producer followed me over [to the pool with Corinne] because I gave him the look. He followed me over with cameras."
DeMario also insisted that if Corinne was a black woman, the producer never would have found reason to worry or complain about their sexual encounter.
"This wouldn't have been a story. We wouldn't even be having this discussion at all... The minute you saw a black man and a white woman's face, I had black America who hated me because I'm a sellout with a white girl. And I had white America calling me the N-word and telling me to 'go back to Africa,'" DeMario revealed.
"And they were slut-shaming Corinne, which sucked. For me, I'm just sitting here thinking, 'Wow. Our world.' The human race continues to let me down."
DeMario continued in his interview with The Reporter: "The reason why I handled myself with such respect and class is because it wasn't just to respect my name, I was speaking on behalf of all African-Americans. The paparazzi are outside my house and I bring them water and they say, 'Wow, you're so nice!' That's actually who I am! They want to put the angry black man on the news and people can say, 'That's exactly who I thought he would be.'"
DeMario said his sexual encounter with Corinne was "100 percent consensual" and he will tell Chris Harrison his side of the story in a Bachelor in Paradise special that airs next week. Viewers will also hear Corinne's side of the story separately, the following week.
"My story has never changed. I've never cracked. I've never been angry or upset. I just told my truth. Unfortunately, we live in a society where the whole world is going to side with the woman. Even when the story doesn't make sense. In this situation, I don't think people used common sense," DeMario explained.
"You're on a multi-million dollar set with 50 to 100-plus cameras, 300 workers and an entire production. I love how Alex was giving the play-by-play with what was going on with me and Corinne when we were in the pool, because it showed all the production, all the people and the castmates watching. I was actually telling the truth, so I'm relieved."
DeMario added that the only thing he knows about the producer who filed the allegation of misconduct is that she is "Corinne's best friend."
"I asked [a male producer] if they talked to Corinne, and they said she said everything is cool. I asked, 'If she said everything is cool, and I said everything is cool, then why are we having this conversation?' They said it was protocol," DeMario recalled of the moment producers informed him of the issue.
"I asked if the producer saw the tape and he said he did, and when I asked what the tape showed he said the tape was fine. That's why I've said, 'Show the tape, show the tape,' this whole time. I made a T-shirt. When have you ever seen somebody who really, really, really wanted footage to be shown like that?"