When it was first reported Sunday that filming in Mexico for Season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise had been shut down because of allegations of misconduct, details were scarce at best. Further information has emerged since, but it hasn’t yet given the situation much more clarity.
The premise of BiP is that rejected castmembers from past seasons of The Bachelor and Bachelorette head to a tropical location “hoping to turn a potential summer fling into the real thing.” (In actuality, the show is a more relaxed version of its predecessors, where contestants can extend their 15 minutes, making money to flirt with people they’d probably be flirting with off-camera anyway.)
Originally, both contestants involved in the alleged misconduct on the set of this season were named by several outlets and reporters. While exact facts varied (and still do), the consistent narrative across those stories is as follows: contestants DeMario Jackson and Corinne Olympios had engaged in sexual activities in a pool during filming last week when both were under the influence of alcohol, and a producer filed a complaint against the show concerning the incident. Initial reports were vague enough that they prompted speculation that the unidentified producer was upset about having to witness such a sexually explicit scene, but new reports suggest that the producer in question was actually concerned that Olympios was too drunk to consent. This has prompted blogger and Bachelor spoiler Reality Steve—who was early in reporting the news—to delete his first tweets identifying the contestants. He clarified that he hadn’t been told at first that the complaint might have involved an actual crime and that his only knowledge then was that “no one was hurt.”
Where does that leave us? With these tandem reports from TMZ, who is naming Olympios, and People, who is not. TMZ spoke to “DeMario sources” last night, who said that Jackson and Olympios were told their coupling would be a storyline this season, which is what prompted the incident in question:
We’re told the 2 met at the bar and the alcohol was flowing. DeMario says Corinne jumped in his lap and started making out with him. We’re told there was lots of “intense rubbing.”
DeMario says Corinne then suggested they retreat to the pool, with the cameras rolling. They took off their clothes, started making out and “rubbing, touching and fingering.” He says she put her genitals in his face and he began licking, but we’re told this allegation is a big point of contention and others disagree with his account. He says he was not able to engage in intercourse because of the alcohol.
DeMario says the next day everything was fine and he and Corrine were actually getting along well, but on Tuesday they were called in by the Executive Producer and told one of the show producers had seen the film and was “uncomfortable” with what was shot.
In an update today, TMZ reports that it’s unclear if the producer in question was actually there for this interaction (which is contrary to Amy Kaufman’s reporting yesterday that the producer had witnessed the incident), but that they filed the complaint with Warner Bros. over concerns that Olympios was not sober enough to consent to the encounter:
Our sources say the field producer in question was assigned to shadow Corinne, and began hearing stories from people on the set that Corinne was so drunk she had no idea what was going on in the pool.
Later on, they added to their reporting, speaking for the first time to “Corinne sources” who say she “blames producers for not pulling the plug and protecting her,” and that “she remembers nothing.” She has, in TMZ’s words, “lawyered up”; The Hollywood Reporter notes that, contrary to early reports, an official lawsuit from any party has not been filed at this time, and that the issue is being handled internally.
Meanwhile, People—who is not naming Olympios “because she could be the victim of alleged sexual misconduct” (though she has not yet officially commented on the allegations)—echoes these claims that the blame is being pointed at the producers and crew, for letting the situation get this far. Some anonymous castmembers have gone as far as to express frustration that the incident means the season (and perhaps the show) will more than likely be scrapped entirely:
One contestant on the show tells PEOPLE that two other cast members saw the interaction. The source adds that the contestants are upset that crew members did not do more to stop the incident.
In both last night’s report and today’s, People quotes a source who says, “The show absolutely values the primacy of consent, and this instance it appears as though conduct allegedly occurred without the proper consent having been given.”